A grand romance, that moves through the history of a southern family and through the teen-aged lives of three youngsters, creates warmth without sentiment, an intelligently broadened view of the life and a natural suspense. Debble Scott and her cousin Mark Kendall are old friends, but make a new friend in orphaned Bill Bradford. At first the energies of the trio are principally directed towards finding out where Felicity, a remarkable friend of Mark's grandmother, is now. Through old letters and reports from various townspeople, the children are so taken with the idea of a smart woman who was also kind and loving that the thought of her becomes a core of their lives. But they can find out only that she lives somewhere in Italy. Then when Bill is given the chance to live and study in Florence with a friend of his father's, the trip is broken. But through letters, college, a trip to Europe for Mark and Debble, Mark's love for Bill and finally Felicity herself- a new world opens up. Good characterizations.