Meta Moor is living with her adopted aunt Augusta, at Hartsedge Hall in Yorkshire.
Her dream is to return to Rook's Nest, the house where she was born -- and where her mother, died -- with its lake and neglected gardens. Her obsession with the place does not diminish as she reaches adolescence and begins her "school training". :' Nor does it diminish when she goes away from home to become a governess and falls passionately in love with a young musician.
Attractive and willful, never a conformist, Meta has--a painful growing up as she struggles to find independence in a restrictive society.