Calpurnia Tate is a girl growing up in TX at the turn of the 20th century. In a household filled with brothers, Callie's mother has high hopes for her coming out in a few years and is struggling mightily to get Callie to learn knitting, sewing, cooking, and other domestic arts--all of which Callie hates. What Callie loves is investigations with her naturalist grandfather, who teaches her about microbes, plants, animals, observation, the scientific method, and The Origin of the Species. As Callie grows to love science, she also begins to realize that a career or education at the university is probably off-limits to her as her family believes her future lies in a good marriage. As she sees the injustice of it all, she begins to wonder what her future holds.
Callie is a very compelling protagonist, and the ending does not answer all questions about where her future lies--there's definitely room for a sequel here.