Miss Willie, the second book in the trilogy, is the story of Willie Payne, Mary Hogan Pierce's aunt, who comes to Piney Ridge to teach school and to help the Ridge people have a better way of life. She reveals to the reader that she has another motive for coming to Piney Ridge. She is a lonely person.
It takes a long time for Miss Willie to discover that the Ridge people, whose ways she at first finds appalling, have their own beauty and dignity and that some of her efforts to reform them are ill conceived. Her warmth and generosity and humor help her bridge the gap and find love and fulfillment on Piney Ridge.