Abigail, a Harvard graduate student, drives from Concord intending to carry out research in Natick. She finds herself, not sixteen miles from home, but three hundred and sixty-six years in the past. Stunned both in body and mind by her strange circumstances, she makes her way to Colonial Concord where the widowed Hannah invites her to stay. Assuming that she is in the seventeenth century only temporarily, Abigail eagerly observes the daily life around her, as if she were on a field trip gathering notes for her history thesis. Soon however, she changes from being the objective observer to accepting the friendship of the ailing Hannah and the love of half-Indian Paul. Aware that her tall, lanky body and outspoken personality are in conflict with the accepted norm for Puritan women, Abigail worries about survival in these dangerous times. Why was she brought back to the very period that she has been studying? Does she have a mission in the seventeenth century? Can she and Paul build a fulfilling life together without running afoul of local prejudice and scheming relatives?