Anne comes to Summer Ho as the bride of Harry Summer to ""begin a new life as a member of the aristocracy; no mean feat for a merchant's daughter."" The English-type Civil War is breaking out, and Anne soon sees the skull beneath her Cavalier's plumed hat, as Harry impregnates a local farmgirl, goes to war, has his back broken, and kills himself. His best friend Sir Ashley Death (yes, Ashley Death) makes heavy passes at Anne and then runs off with her married sister-in-law only to get her with childe and desert her. Anne nourishes a crush on Death's satanic charms despite the attentions of utterly upright Roundhead Capt. Everton, who burns down her house but keeps hanging around it nevertheless. Whom will she get off with? Who cares? This is an historical romance of the wooden-figure variety, where the characters are moved neither by historical events nor their own drives, but merely by the relentless hand of the author placing them now here, now there, against a painted backdrop that could as well be Ancient Greece or Bucks County as Cromwellian England.