Parson's daughter Mara Johns arrives as a postgraduate student at a great northern cathedral city. Antagonistic to the church and fiercely independent, she repels all friendly overtures and seeks spiritual answers in her theological research. But when her past involvement in an extreme sect resurfaces, she finds her quest won't stay academic. Nor can she hold out against her persistent would-be friends. Gradually she unbends and laughs with Maddy and May; locks horns with the insufferable 'polecat'—and finds herself torn between the attentions of two suitors. But they are both ordinands, and she's vowed she'll never marry a vicar.