Luke Matthews, a budding physician, goes to the 'big city' in an attempt to build his profession. Shouldn't more population mean more clients? Unknown there, he makes slow progress. Will he ever get his foot in the door?
He sleeps on a daybed in his meals at Mrs. Griggs's boardinghouse, where he meets a potpourri of humanity. One of the most unusual of his table mates is a lady to whom the other boarders have given the sobriquet, 'the Contrary Woman.'
She is blunt and considered stoic. In her plain statements, she clashes especially with Mrs. Molly. This young widow sets her cap for every single man who comes there to dine.
Yet the doctor sees beyond the exterior of the Contrary Woman. Thus, now and then he gets a glimpse of the real person inside.
What has made this mystery woman so bitter? Eventually, he learns.
And so will you...