A well-worked out variation on the theme of the innocent newcomer in a household of evil and fear, is this story of Hestor Snow, Yankee schoolmarm, hired as governess for Rupert LeGrand, at Seven Chimneys in the Sea Islands off Georgia. Saint Clair Le Grand who walks like ""God A'Mighty himself makes use of Hester's Northern ways, breaks off any understanding between her and his wife, but does not win her heart, as does his half-brother Roi. The drowning of Rupert's mother, Hester's new methods of managing the estate, introducing wages, discipline and routine to the Negroes, pave the way for her marriage to Saint Clair. Time proves to her his consistent wickedness and when at last he makes the wrong move, Hester has no compunctions about permitting him to die so that she may be freed of Seven Chimneys and free for Roi. Roi turns aside any threat of accusation of murder, and leaves with her and the children for the midwest....Post Civil War, the contrast of Northern and Southern ways and thinking, backgrounds the culmination of enveloping degeneration, the development of a well-told tale. Rebecca and its ilk have paved the way for this.