Anne Yale Hopkins comes to Hartford, Connecticut, in 1638, delighted to have escaped the household of her stepfather Theophilus Eaton, a rigorous Puritan, by marrying Edward, who becomes governor of Hartford. She can hardly wait to make a fresh start in a new land. She is a voracious reader, and writes several books, recording her impressions of life in the New world. Her first enthusiastic impressions of the community gradually change, however, as she comes up against the rigidity and judgmentalism of some of the Puritans. She learns to refrain from expressing thoughts she knows would be deemed unacceptable and retreats into silence. With the death of one good Hartford friend, and the departure of the other, she withdraws even more. Edward’s friends advise taking away her books and paper — they say her brain is overloaded, and that is why she is behaving so oddly. Anne is devastated, hides her journal but keeps writing, while certain flashes of a lost memory prompt her to face a new reality.