In the autumn of 1939, young Waverley Scott arrives on Isadora Island in the Puget Sound. She is to be a student at Temple School - banished, she knows, because her features too closely resemble those of her mother's married employer. Alone, abandoned, and unloved, Waverley steps off the rain-washed boat and into the eccentric world of Temple School. The headmistress of this all-girl school, Sophia Westervelt, has a mysterious past and a passion for education. She instills achievement into her students, confident that one day they will have dinner with the King of Sweden, that they will win the Nobel Prize. Under Sophie's direction, Waverley grows as her own abilities and vision expand. But far away in Europe, nations clash, and even isolated Isadora feels the impact. Sophia Westervelt struggles to keep Temple School going, though formidable forces combine against her. And in the midst of this turmoil, for the first time, Waverley experiences love.
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