• Effi Briest is a seventeen-year-old girl living in Hohen-Cremmen, Germany.
• Effi talks about her mother's former suitor, 38-year-old Baron Geert von Innstetten, with her childhood friends.
• Effi recalls that women used to be drowned for infidelity.
• Effi's mother tells her that Innstetten has asked to marry Effi.
• Effi's friends have reservations about her quick engagement - Effi says any handsome aristocrat will do.
• Effi and her mother return home from their shopping trip in Berlin.
• Effi's father declares that she should have a honeymoon.
• Effi smiles at Innstetten's letters, convincing her mother that their marriage will be ideal.
• Effi claims that she loves anyone who wishes her well, is kind and spoils her.
• Effi sends her parents cards and letters while on her honeymoon - she says Innstetten treats her well.
• Effi sees her new home in Kessin for the first time...
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