What will Prudence and Kit lose when their refuge in Hannah and Hannah's house is gone?
With the destruction of Hannah's home and her escape from the angry townspeople, Kit and Prudence are deprived of their one refuge. For Kit, the kindness and solace from her stern uncle's home and the strictness required in Puritan society is gone. Now there is no outlet for her loneliness and frustration with the restrictive life in the colonial town. Hannah helped her find coping mechanisms and answers to the demands of a harsh lifestyle. Gone, too, is her connection to Nat, a young man who both amuses and frustrates her in her first "love" situation. Prudence will suffer the most. Gone is the place of learning and love her abusive mother will not provide. Goodwife Cruff, Prudence's mother, believes her child is stupid. She offers no love and no belief in her child, only cruel words and physical punishment. The child's spirit is crushed by the rejection of her own mother, and the kindness, care, and support for her fragile self-esteem have been destroyed when Hannah's house is burned and Hannah, herself, must flee for her life. Kit's patient teaching of the child must end as well. Not having Hannah and her haven must seem like the end of the world for both the young woman and the neglected child.