This goes back in time from Centennial Summer and The Great Blizzard and concentrates on the origins of the Rogers' family. Starting in 1844 Raphael, Count Borelli, (known as Mr. Repetto in Bordentown, N.J.) is fretting over finances, over non- recognition from the Bonaparte family to which he has been loyal even in emigration, and over his two daughters, Teresina and Augustina. Not really living in America but waiting for royal recall, Zena and her father have little in common with Gussie who loves the new country, acquires a mail order suitor and a much more lively one in Jesse Rogers, a Quaker not confined completely by his beliefs. Her ardent suitors make up a great part of her story while Papa's and Zena's dreams of returning home are in conflict with her dream of staying on. The horse Gentle Zitelia and the blackamoor Sophrony, Sully's portrait, and the gamble of Jesse's father to bring back an elephant for Barnum are all determinants in her future -- with Jesse. A gentle liveliness is a pleasant mask for this historical-familial episode and those who have wanted to know more about the people in the previous novels will find plenty to occupy them.