Told partly in Flashback (narrative), it is the story of Katie Morosky and Hubbell Gardiner. Their differences are immense: she is a stridently vocal Marxism Jew with strong anti-war opinions, and he is a carefree White Anglo-Saxon Protestant with no particular political bent. While attending the same college, she is drawn to him because of his boyish good looks and his natural writing skill, which she finds captivating, although he does not work very hard at it. He is intrigued by her conviction and her determination to persuade others to take up social causes. Their attraction is evident, but neither of them acts upon it, and they lose touch after graduation.