From the book cover:
"Susan dreamed a strange dream. . . She had a curious sensation of being mistress of the world and of the suns, and she seemed to hear herself saying over and over again triumphantly, 'I am my own--I am my own.'"
Born in 1834, Susan is the eldest daughter of a poor Sussex field labourer, Adam Spray, and his wife Ruth. Her large family belongs to the Colgate Brethren, an obscure religious sect which takes Susan to its bosom the day she declares, at the age of six, that she's seen the Lord. But the Spray children are soon orphaned; thrown helpless upon the world Susan and her younger sister, Tamara, find themselves working on a Sussex farm. Tamara spends her time in dalliance with young men, while for Susan, destined to become a preacher, the Ten Commandments, the Burning Bush and Ezekiel's temple are her daily--and nightly--fare. Yet Susan can sin and fall in love like any mortal; and when she does it is as glorious as a vision of God and his cherubim, and as consuming as the fires of hell.