The Moonlit Path is the 1914 journal of Katherine Willard, a 32-year-old artist and avid gardener in Oakland, California, who has no clue that the year will turn extremely eventful for her. Katherine is an independent woman in a world run by men and an artist in a profit-driven society - and old secrets still trouble her. As seen through Katherine's eyes, the U.S. in 1914 will feel foreign to most.
Katherine's world frustrates and restricts her. She is spirited, creative, and impulsive, and not always wise. Meanwhile, her world is full of earlier stages of issues we still discuss daily, including the situation of women, racism, immigration, and child abuse. Century-old attitudes on those are instructive.
But the main attraction is striding through Katherine's world with her, sharing her joys and sorrows, then watching her struggle to solve real problems.
We follow Katherine's Oakland activities, including painting, gardening, various events with her friends (e.g., a race between an early airplane and an early automobile driven by Barney Oldfield, and various moving pictures), and the deaths of two people she's close to; then later in the year, far from Oakland, she impulsively behaves in a way that startles her and us.