Sixteen-year-old Kit Tyler, an orphan from Barbados, leaves her wealthy home to jump on the ship the Dolphin to start a new life in Wethersfield, Connecticut with her aunt, uncle, and two cousins.
From the very start, Kit finds out that she does not fit in with the Puritan society of Wethersfield. Since she is used to a wealthy lifestyle and is free-spirited, it is hard to adjust to the hard work and strict religious practices of her family and neighbors.
Kit works long hours in the fields and the kitchen, attends church services, and wins the romantic attention from William Ashby. Kit's best friends turn out to be Hannah Tupper, who is believed to be a witch, a sailor from the Dolphin named Nat, and Prudence, a young girl who she is secretly teaching to read.
When a deadly fever comes over the villagers, they blame Hannah Tupper to be responsible and a mob tries to attack her. Kit luckily gets her to safety but is then accused of witchcraft herself. When she is put to trial she is in a lot of danger until Nat and Prudence save her with evidence that proves her innocent.
Because William Ashby failed to defend Kit during her trail, she realized that he is not fit to marry her. Instead, he decides to marry Judith and Mercy gets engaged to John Holbrook. Even though Kit feels happy for her cousins, she feels unhappy and discontent. She misses Barbados but then realizes that what she really misses is Nat.