Samantha Harvey lives on the outskirts of town and feels as if she exists on the fringe of everything else. Whispers about "That Harvey Girl" from strangers she has never met are impossible to ignore, and remind Samantha that something about her is different. Walking past the prestigious homes on Silk Stocking Row each day, Samantha wonders what life is like in the part of town where whispers do not matter. When Samantha meets an officer in the National Guard, he promises her happiness and security she has not known since the death of her mother, but the young man's prominent family disapproves of her for reasons she does not understand. Her family's secrets threaten to take away any happiness she hoped to have. When her fiance goes to the Great War in Europe, Samantha knows her chances for happiness are bleak. Guilt's Echo describes American innocence before The Great War in Europe, as the nation transforms into complex modern life. Changing ethics, flawed morals, and human selfishness conflict with time-honored virtues to cause the characters to yearn for a nostalgic past that no longer exist for them.