Alvina Houghton is the daughter of an early twentieth century British theater owner. James Houghton's death frees Alvina from the constraints of pleasing her father but she is in debt. Alvina sells the theater but continues to manage it when traveling minstrels come to perform. Ciccio is an actor/singer in the group and Alvina is drawn to his quiet nature.
The performers depart and Alvina concludes the details to closing her father's estate. She is a woman without roots, no family or obligations to hold her to her hometown. She locates Ciccio's performing troupe and joins, as its piano player. She and Ciccio grow closer but Alvina knows that a life with Ciccio is lowering of her station. Alvina begins to tire of traveling and Ciccio's resists offering her anything more than their affair.
Alvina accepts a nursing position and leaves the troupe. She treats patients and enjoys life as a nurse with her own money and duties, but she is lonely. A bachelor doctor becomes enamored with Alvina and offers marriage. She is hesitant because she doesn't love him and requests a month to decide whether to accept his offer of marriage. By chance, she sees Ciccio on the street. She tries to avoid him, but he follows. He serenades her as she tends to a woman giving birth and Alvina knows she can't accept the doctor's proposal.
World War I begins and all foreigners are required to leave England. Alvina and Ciccio marry and go to Naples, Italy. He is hesitant to go back to Italy and fearful that Alvina will not like life as the wife of an Italian farmer. Alvina finds happiness with Ciccio but life is much harder than it was in England. Alvina and Ciccio are expecting a child when Ciccio is called up to fight for Italy. Alvina must decide whether to stay in Italy or return to England. Ciccio must decide whether to return to Alvina after the war.
The review of this Book prepared by allison b.