"When I swung over that windowsill, everything changed for me. We are meant to go in and out of doors in civilized style, but my mother bade me climb into woodsy wildness and a darkness flushed with crimson light and torches …" Clambering into the branches of a tree, a young woman flees flaming arrows and massacre. She will need to struggle for survival: to scour the wilderness for shelter, to strive and seek for a new family and a setting where she can belong. Her unmarked way is costly and hard. For Charis, the world outside the window of home is a maze of hazards. And even if she survives the wilds, it is no simple matter to discover and nest among her own kind-the godly, those called Puritans by others. She may be tugged by her desires for companionship, may even stumble into an intense love for a man, and may be made to try the strength of female heroism in ways no longer familiar to women in our century. Streams of darkness run through the seventeenth-century villages of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Occult fears have a way of creeping into the mind. What young woman can be safe from the dangers of wilderness when its shadowy thickets spring up so easily in the soil of human hearts? Much will oppose Charis' longings for renewal and peace; she must pursue and discover the hero's path to a larger, more vivid life.