Catherine Moreland is the indulged eldest daughter of a large, happy family. She enjoys long walks in the country and reading novels, but has very little experience of the real world. When she accompanies a neighbor on a vacation to Bath, a town bustling with social activity, she must navigate her first friendships and her first romance. As she endures betrayal, heartbreak, and confusion, she learns how to navigate life outside of books and how to identify a true friend. Austen views her characters and their problems with affection and humor, and, in writing a novel that is ostensibly about the dangers of novels, makes an argument for finding meaning in literature.