Indiana is a young noblewoman descended from French colonial currently living in France. Indiana is married and suffers from a variety of unknown illnesses, presumably due to the lack of passion in her life. Indiana does not love Delmare, and searches for someone who will love her passionately. She overlooks her cousin Ralph, who lives with her and the colonel. As it turns out, Ralph is in love with Indiana. When their young, handsome, and well-spoken neighbour, Raymon de Ramiere declares his interest to Indiana, she falls in love with him. Raymon has already seduced Indiana's maid, Noun, who is pregnant with his child. When Noun finds out what is going on, she drowns herself. The novel deals with many typical nineteenth century novelistic themes. These include adultery, social constraint, and unfulfilled longing for romantic love.