In 1738, Margo's father loses his family farm in the Swiss Alps and must immigrate to South Carolina to seek a better life. On the ship everyone except Margo dies of typhus, who is nursed back to life and smuggled through the quarantine at Savannah by a family friend. Later, after an unfortunate first marriage, she marries a dashing cavalryman and takes service with the cultivated mother of an acting commandant. The old lady teaches the illiterate girl to speak, read, and write the King's English and to behave as a gentlewoman. After her husband is killed by Indians, Margo takes care of a badly wounded young officer of an old South Carolina family and they fall in love. When they marry Margo discovers that he has inherited a productive rice plantation and she gradually takes over its management. Finally, after three husbands, Margo at last achieves her fondest goal, a family. ISABELLA RAE HABERSHAM is a ninth generation native of Georgia and was brought up hearing stories of her colonial ancestors, five of whom appear, somewhat fictionalized, in this book. As a professor of history, she has profited from both English and German colonial records.