Even at the tender age of sixteen, Elizabeth Williams was the rare girl who knew her mind. She knew she preferred summer to all other seasons. She knew she couldn’t stand the pink-and-yellow floral wallpaper the decorator had chosen for her room. She knew that she would much rather spend time with her blustery, good-natured father than her ever-critical, humorless mother—though the company of either was difficult to come by. And she knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that going away to the Billings School for Girls was going to be the best thing that ever happened to her.
As she sat in the cushioned...