The author tries for Scarlett, but in the overstuffed person of Molly Deems, of post-Revolution Cape Cod, she comes up with hot flash pink. Orphaned Molly, reared as a servant in the home of a kindly Quaker woman, Elizabeth Warden, blossoms early fore and aft, and marries in haste a rising young seaman, Elijah Merrick--just after being lured bedwards by handsome Isaac Warden. At first repelled when Elijah ""has his way with her,"" she finally--in spite of a disciplinary beating--grows to love him as her social status improves and Elijah's riches and their children accumulate. But re-enter Isaac, and in Elijah's absence Molly experiences the Real Thing (""I am as a quaking leaf"") before she discovers Isaac's true motivation. At the close, blasted by fate and disillusion (Elijah loses his fortune), the two face the future--together. While the events of the period detonate pleasantly in the background, this is easy, bosomy reading.