A young woman in her late teens, a reader of novels and with high hopes of romance and passion, marries a widowed country doctor. Although he dotes on her, she is soon bored and discontent. First, she gives her imagination to a law student in town, and next she takes a lover. When he refuses to run away with her, she takes up again with the law clerk. Her spending on dresses and furnishings mounts; these debts and her ill-advised professional counsel to her husband bring his ruin.