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Independent and capable Prudence Wedderburn, daughter of a vicar, is a woman before her time. She not only manages the parish duties usually performed by a vicar's wife, she has learned the art of healing, and during her father's final illness, she also assumes some of his religious duties—all actions welcomed by her village until her father's death abruptly ends her life as First Lady of Kenner's Cove, Kent.
Well aware she must curb her independence—even learn to practice subservience, a quality entirely unknown to her—Prudence accepts a position as governess to a five-year-old girl in Cornwall. Where, alas, rumors of her activities in Kent plunge her into difficulties with the church, she clashes with her pupil's father (an earl), finds herself hip-deep in smugglers and Cornish legends, is befriended by a 500-year-old cat, and discovers that someone—several someones?—want to kill her. Finding a happy ending in a deluge of disasters will be the vicar's daughter's greatest challenge.