Apparently spirits always ran high in Bucks County--even at the time of the Revolutionary War, when Richard Stafford manages to make an Irish servant girl pregnant. His moralistic father insists he marries her (a shock to the class-conscious neighbors), but Richard couldn't be happier--having fallen into lifelong love the moment he laid eyes on her. Historical novels may glorify sexual attraction, but Richard's sister-in-law doesn't: Richard and Bridget are forbidden to come into the main house (except as servants) as long as she's alive. Meanwhile the retreating army of Washington and the advancing British one of Howe draw closer, requisitioning livestock and grains and burning the leftovers to prevent the other side from getting it. But the Staffords couldn't care less--at least until the terrible winter of Valley Forge, when Richard learns that love transcends death; in consequence, he remains faithful to the memory of his slain wife for approximately 80 years. A slow story filled with highfalutin' sentiment and prose.