What Millicent Cooper understands is that the Thatcher family, with whom she has lived since her mother's death, has left the culture and refinement of Boston for the wild Missouri frontier. And it is all the result of Judith Thatcher's introduction of the Mormon faith by four missionaries - missionaries like Nicholas Todd. Rather than live among a people with strange, alien beliefs, Millie has chosen to return to her hometown. There she encounters Elder Nicholas Todd, who treats her with a tenderness that she has never experienced before. But his commitment to a religion that has disrupted, even endangered, the life of Millie's dearest friend, Verity Thatcher, only confuses and angers her. And then there is dark, brooding Luther Fenn, who returns from his voyage at sea seeking to claim the love of his youth. Millie is torn between her conflicting feelings for Nicholas and the promise of stability a life with Luther would provide. But after Nicholas departs for England, and suddenly his letters stop coming, Millie is forced to make a decision that will affect the rest of her life.