William is speechless when he first sees Kit.
William is a simple man, and he is a man of few words. Most Puritans live simple lives and value family. William is looking for a way to build a family. He is an important member of the community from a respected family.
Kit was startled to meet the unmistakably dazzled gaze of William Ashby, and unconsciously she rewarded him with the first genuine smile she had managed this morning. Kit had no idea of what happened to her thin plain features when she smiled. William was speechless. (Ch. 5)
Judith tells Kit that she made an impression on William. This would mean something to Judith because she has been interested in William for a while. Kit is aware of how William was looking at her.
There was no point in denying it. "Perhaps because I was someone new," said Kit.
"Perhaps. You aren't exactly pretty, you know. But naturally William would be impressed by a dress like that." (Ch. 5)
Kit is not really in love with William Ashby. He comes calling on her and hardly says a word. She finds these Puritan-style dates awkward. However, Kit knows that she needs to fit into colonial Wethersfield. What better way than by marrying the son of a rich man?
William is building a house, and a nice one at that. If Kit marries him, she will have everything she could possibly want, at least by Wethersfield standards. She feels like she could fall in love with him. When Nat finds out about the house and their impending marriage, he gets upset. He already loves Kit.
The illumination of William and Kit’s future house by Nat and his friends makes quite an impression on Kit. She suddenly understands that Nat really cares about her, even though he demonstrated it in a somewhat juvenile way. When she goes to visit him in the stocks, she realizes that she really cares about him. Kit may grow to love William, but she already loves Nat.