Adeline Whiteoak is dead and in her will, she’s everything to her grandson Finch. It isn’t millions, but it’s a sizable sum: $100,000. The Whiteoaks are a large, tight-knit family that all live at Jalna, the home Adeline set up after removing from England to Canada. That doesn’t stop them from at times being at each other’s throats. Finch has an artistic temperament and is hopelessly unsure of his 21-year-old self. He wants to use a part of the money to help each of his relatives, and they — to a greater or lesser extent — see him as an easily exploitable cash machine.
His gift to his two elderly uncles is a trip back to England to meet their sister Augusta one last time. She had arranged things to introduce Finch and Sarah Court in the hope of sparking something, and something does spark, but Finch is too terribly afraid of himself to pursue it. His friend Arthur Leigh visits and in scarcely a matter of days, he and Sarah are married. Sarah confesses afterward that she loves Finch.
Inscription: On the front flyleaf, “Fanny King, On the wide veranda at Morgan Street”.