Several residents of a Paris boarding-house write letters to their friends and family back home; their primary subject is their reaction to each other. The main character is Miranda Hope, an angular but likeable Yankee Miss from Bangor, Maine who, quite bravely for a young woman of that era, is traveling in Europe alone. In her letters, she chatters to her mother about seeing the sights in Europe but doesn't like the Old World's treatment of its women, "and that is a point, you know, on which I feel very strongly." Her expressions of petulance with William Platt, who we realize must have been a suitor of hers back in Maine, are so offhand as to be amusing. Although she is in general the least affected and most sympathetic character in the story, her unawareness of the disdain in which most of the characters hold each other (including herself) makes her seem somewhat naive.