Gervase Howard is orphaned in 1851 at fourteen years of age. She is sent to live with her aunt and uncle on the estate where they work. There, she will help her aunt as a servant to the Wingate family. Despite her status, Gervase begins to have feelings for the eldest son, Davis, who is kind to her. Davis becomes engaged to a woman of his own class. Because Gervase is a godly young woman and knows her feelings for Davis are wrong, she leaves the Wingates and enters the service of the Nightingale family. She is assigned as maid to their outspoken daughter, Florence. Gervase soon discovers she makes a fine nurse and enters into Florence Nightingale’s world.
Although the plot of this story is predictable and the endings a little too neatly tied, the historical elements of Gervase’s life with Florence Nightingale and the details of an army hospital make it a very interesting read. The characters are endearing, and almost all have redeeming qualities that shine through in the end.