In 1890, Jean Forgeron, an art student of Edgar Degas, comes to Giverny, France, to work in the gardens of artist Claude Monet and to study with him for a time. Nearly three years later, he returns once more to work and study, but also hoping to form another kind of partnership: the young painter is looking for love.
At the same time, a pair of young ladies from the suburbs of Philadelphia have come to France to study art. Luisa Magdalena Slagle and Emille Martha Tveger intend to become students of Monet themselves. Though Jean is intrigued by the pair, they are uninterested. Instead, Luisa and Emille elect to form a Boston marriage while abroad together, in spite of the disapproval from both their families. Meanwhile, the three young people explore the French countryside and learn from a group of brilliant impressionist artists, building their skills and preparing for their lives ahead.
In this historical novel, three young artists set out to study their craft with impressionist masters in nineteenth-century France while dealing with matters of the heart.