Hester Walton is just starting a promising writing career, but she answers the call to care for her aunt, Verbena Bridge, who is both sour and bitter, as well as bedridden. Aunt Verbena’s elderly servant, Finnis, is also sour and bitter, as well as lazy. Hester discovers Finnis never changes Aunt Verbena’s bedding! Finis resents the intrusion of Hester as she goes about improving conditions for her aunt. Also in the house is Hugh Millard, the orphan son of Aunt Verbena’s friends who died in India. Hester helps with Hugh’s education, while doing her best to keep him out of trouble. With her writing career on hold, and the love of her life apparently courting one of her friends, Hester struggles to maintain her Christian faith when faced with so many difficulties.