In 1880s Ontario, the arrival of a new, forward-thinking headmaster forces a young teacher to wrestle with her heart’s conflicting desires.
Lucretia Goodwin bucks centuries of tradition by refusing to take a husband. She wants no part in the custom that has her best friend keen to marry a man who treats her poorly and whisked a beloved sister off to do missionary work in Barbados. Besides, women lose what few rights they have the moment they say, “I do.”
When she suddenly finds herself teaching under a politically outspoken headmaster, Lucretia isn’t sure what to do… or how to feel. Mr. Steward believes in women’s suffrage and — perhaps more shockingly — wants to open all classes to students of both sexes. But what do girls need to know about history or geography, when they’re fated to become keepers of hearth and home?
As Lucretia tries to determine where she stands on issues both personal and political, she’s caught between family and friends convinced she’s gone radical and the frustratingly handsome headmaster pressing gently against her resistance to change. But when a tragedy strikes that intensifies her anxieties surrounding marriage, will she permanently close herself off to the possibility of courtship?