Penelope, now a matron; Francesca, happily engaged and Salemina, still single; ate traveling together once again. "Himself" (Penelope's husband) is busy with business matters back home and Ronald Macdonald can't leave his parish. The trio of friends travel through each of Ireland's 4 provinces and encounter a noted scholar, his children, a tragic romance and several notable locals. Traveling with them is Brenella, a young woman from Salem traveling to Ireland in search of her relatives. After collapsing on Salemina's trunk, the older lady took the younger one under her wing and employed her as a maid. Brenella will do anything for her beloved employers, but where will she go once the summer ends?
This book starts off great, with a tongue-in-cheek scene where Penelope realizes that she and her friends are like characters in a three volume novel! Salemina refuses to have anything to do with such stuff and nonsense but Penelope knows better. Past events coupled with the charm of Ireland may work their magic on her.
There's also a fair amount of social commentary. During this time the Irish question was foremost on every Briton's mind and the author has Penelope wonder philosophically on why the Irish are so poor and ragged and an entire section is devoted to Irish grievances against the English.