Headstrong and willful, the archetypical feminist heroine of historical fiction. Vicky Bodkin yearns fiercely to photograph ""real salt-of-the-earth people"" in real settings, to capture the ""spiritual regeneration at the sight of a wheat field, a wood or a waterfall."" Her talent and gumption convince father Bodkin to send her on a summer tour with older brothers Ed and Bernie; she burns brown, cooks, washes up, and revolutionizes photography. After a season recording quaint poor folk, twister tragedy, revivalist fever, circus color, etc., the ardent young career girl promises herself to an ardent young male photographer (she's only seen him thrice, but we knew from the first). President Garfield's assassination is the backdrop, Vicky's eternal appreciating in the fore--an old time setting for an old hat plot.