Whilst their father is fighting in the American Civil War, four sisters and their mother struggle to survive with help from a wealthy neighbour. Each girl has to overcome their own individual battles, which range from short temper to the contraction of scarlet fever. Each will bring the family closer together or further apart. The story tells of their progression into womanhood and how they cope with the competitive romance of the neighbour's grandson and his tutor. Here is a true American classic, read superbly by Connie Booth.