Life was hard enough for Daisy Webb since Mama died and Papa went to fight the Civil War. But then Aunt Paratine moved in with The "Shaking Quakers" or just plain "Shakers" and they don't worship anything like the Presbyterians Daisy knows. Worse, she and her brother Ezra have to live there, too, even if Aunt Paratine dies, which she keeps saying might happen. Fortunately, the Shakers are famous for their herbs and natural healing. The Civil War goes on, Papa never writes her anymore, and Daisy tries to adjust to "work and pray--pray and work." It's not a bad place, Daisy says, unless you like to think for yourself! The Shakers don't even know how to have Christmas. If she can just get through this one winter, Daisy tells herself, she can run away, back to her old life in Lexington. But can she? Something about the gentle Shakers tugs at her heart.