Sarah Tracy has spent her entire life under constant supervision, always under the thumb of one older sibling or another. Now, at eighteen, it's time she was married, so she is being sent to dinner parties, plays, teas, soirees, talks, and chaperoned walks -- always accompanied, always watched.
Sarah's tired of being shipped around, tired of being reminded that it's time to find a suitable husband. Then Sarah sees an advertisement looking for a young woman to oversee Mount Vernon, the old family home of George Washington. Lying to her family and her potential employer, Sarah becomes mistress of this decaying symbol of American freedom.
And then comes the American Civil War. As battles rage around her, Sarah is determined to create a haven of peace at Mount Vernon. Sarah single-handedly manages to keep Mount Vernon out of the war. But while she is able to influence generals, soldiers, and the president, she learns she doesn't hold such sway over her own heart -- as she also discovers true love.
Based on a true story, this is the amazing tale of one girl's path to womanhood.