Wales is the setting of this unusual love story, and its intimately described people, poetry, animals, and scenery soften what is basically a Victorian romance like Jane Eyre. Catriona is nine, and an orphan. Her parents were drowned in India, and she is being raised in a country house in Wales, by a young, pretty, but ferociously spinsterish governess, Jane. Jane forbids her to read myths, play with animals or her country friends, and sets a strict regime of study. Catriona rebels and is punished. A tutor is sent for; he proves to be a good, gentle man named Morgan, with whom the child Catriona falls in love. Despite Jane's jealous efforts at interfering, Catriona grows up, and the improbable love becomes reality. The characterization shows little subtlety, but the country people and the dramatic incidents are well done, and there is a lyric aliveness to the prose. If the book is highly romantic, it is also warm, believable, and a pleasure to read.