Sophy bursts into her cousins' lives, all 5'9" of her, with a pet monkey, a parrot and a dog. Unlike the women in an Austen novel, she can handle horses, her father's finances, and even owns a pistol. Schemes and matchmaking attempts ensue.
This is a Regency-era novel, both in the time period and the style of writing. Since it was written in the 50s the author had a bit more imagination as to the level of independence a woman could achieve, so it reads like a more fast-paced Austen novel.
I would've liked to see a better romance for Sophy, though. After writing such an impressive character, I'm surprised anyone could tie her down that easily.