A thirty year span which takes Jane, anxious to be about the business of real living, through her marriage to Mark, who doesn't love her, on to her success in bringing tourist trade to her town. For Jane, telling the story in the first person, makes no bones about her passion for Mark, her ambition to dig herself out of the genteel poverty she has known, and her adoration of the land. Unable to change Mark's lack of drive, Jane takes over but meets no luck until she steals from a dead woman, and, with her backlog, begins her upward climb. Her suspicions, her nagging, drive Mark away -- to the war in China --, she turns her next husband into a Southern beau when she accomplishes her plan to make the town part of a tourist pilgrimage -- and has her whole world crash when she learns the identity of the woman Mark really loved. Encircled with family, and the peculiarities of the older generation, the story provides a shifting picture, through the '20's, '30's, and '40's, of Mississippi life, offers a self-revealed main character, many interesting lesser -- for the female audience that absorbs this type of ""confessional"" writing.