In 1971, Sister Martha Louise acts as headmistress at Our Lady of the Perpetual Covenant Academy, a down-on-its luck boarding school for girls, one of them seventeen-year-old Petranella Funk. In alternating accounts, the fiery nun and timid teenage girl recall that pivotal year, when Lila Rupert arrives at the school. Where Lila goes, chaos follows, and soon the orderly boredom of Covenant Academy is forever disrupted. Love simultaneously beckons and threatens, friendships offer redemption and ruin, and long buried secrets emerge which hold the power to heal or to destroy. Caught up in the whirlwind of social changes sweeping through American society during a turbulent decade, and wrestling with the mercurial personality who is Lila, Sister Martha Louise and Petranella must, in separate but intersecting scenarios, reevaluate long accepted traditions and beliefs as each struggles to come to terms with what she holds sacred. Not just the young doubt and are capable of change, and even the most daunting and sober individual may hide a delightfully rebellious streak and painful regrets, as this poignant and often humorous tale of days gone by reveals.