Gretchen Schwimmer, the Mennonite girl Eddie Grenville has decided to marry. Her family of Swiss immigrants are establishing themselves in SC as sausage and cheese-makers, bringing old-world traditions to their new home. Their plain life-style also appeals to Eddie, because it centers around a farm that produces everything the people need.
To the rest of the Grenville family, however, the Mennonite customs will be puzzling. Their family ties are much closer than most Southerners are used to. "Family" refers to all the aunts, uncles, and cousins. The women dress in simple high-necked, long-sleeved gowns, frequently with a crisp white bibbed apron over the dress and a small white prayer cap. Gretchen will not accept an engagement ring because her people do not approve of jewelry. Their religious services do not depend upon a church or a minister. Any member can speak or pray as the spirit moves. Music plays a huge part in their lives, which should please Susan, but it is vocal, not instrumental. Food is simple and filling but not fancy. And special occasions are usually celebrated outdoors.
Life in the Schwimmer community is a long way from the cotillions and ladies parlors of Susan Grenville's South Carolina upbringing. Will she be shocked or engaged by the differences?