Spanning more than a century, this is the extraordinary tale, told in her own words, of Lucy Mardsen who in 1984 at the age of 99 was the nation's oldest widow of a Confederate soldier. Told in flashbacks through her reminiscences and those of her now deceased soldier husband, the story becomes a personal roadmap to much of the history of this country's last century. Through the Civil War and Reconstruction, through the Victorian period when Lucy was just a young girl, to her marriage to Captain Willie Mardsen, to the advent of the automobile, the boom years at the beginning of the century, the Great Depression, World War II and into the present, this enormous story is more than just a chronology of events. It is also one woman's struggle toward self-discovery. As Lucy moves through the decades, she bears and rears 9 children, watches them grow and form their own families. Through heartache and joy, she struggles with an oppressive marriage, and eventually finds the courage to throw off the mantle of domestic slavery and seek her own liberation.