When Claudia Thomas graduates from the newly formed Burnham College for Women, Class of 1880, she is not ready to trade the life of the mind for a husband and a house in town. She chooses to further her studies in Europe, buying time before the inevitable descent into maternity and domesticity. Her plans are interrupted when she meets a fellow expatriate one day in a Heidelberg city park.
Jeanette Taynor is a young widow, employed as nanny in the home of a rich businessman. Despite their differences in class and education, their lives intersect and intertwine, blossoming into a love that will not be broken.