The pat is a theme in this story. All of the characters in this book can be said to be reacting from their past experiences, particularly from childhood. Caroline Gill was an only child, born late in the lives of her over-protective parents. She was not allowed a normal childhood because her parents were too old to freely let her run and play; they had learned too much about the hazards of life and had become extremely overly-cautious about their only daughter. Therefore, Caroline was a lonely, somewhat isolated child who was in her thirties when she fell in love, at a distance, with David Henry.