Margaret Rowly dies during childbirth, and her husband, Norman, raises their daughter, Stephen, to be somewhat androgynous.
Elinor and Marianne are sister. Elinor is a sensible, rational girl while her younger sister is wildly romantic.
Trouble ensues when young Lucy Ashtom falls in love with Edgar Ravenswood, a member of a rival family
Trapped in her circumstances, a dutiful wife escapes into her garden where through her eyes we see the seasons and the new events that each season brings to that site.
Set during the industrial revolution, the idealistic Dorothea attempts to improve the world, despite her overbearing husband.