As a lady's compaion, Jemima responded cheerfully to her employers whims and demand. She was capable of coping with almost anything. JThe exception was her employer, Professor Alexander Cator, who went out of his way to provoke Jemima.
After her parents' deaths, and her brother's departure for Canada, Jemima had no choice but to make a new life for herself. As she wasn't trained for anything, that wasn't going to be easy! On the whole, she realized she had been very lucky to be taken on as companion-help to old Lady Manderly, but still, Jemima knew that her life was somehow unsatisfactory, and she felt unfulfilled. That might, of course, have something to do with Lady Manderly's nephew, Professor Alexander Cator!