Letters from Stella is several stories: first is the maturing of a brilliant enthusiastic thirteen year old child into a sensitive precocious seventeen year old young adult, more mature by far than her contemporaries. Second is a high school history teacher, veteran of World War II, with "battle fatigue" as it was called then. They become friends during the four years of Stella's high school experience, but more than that, along the way, they fall in love. This situation is unacceptable to Bill, It goes against every bit of Bill's honor and code of conduct. He tries to find other love interests, but to no avail. Stella dates, but finds high school boys irrevocably infantile. After graduation, they do declare themselves, and become engaged. However, everywhere Bill turns, he is reminded that he is too old for her. Deep down, he agrees, and finally he breaks the engagement, much to his and Stella's anguish. They head off to college, he to teach, and she to learn, not knowing the other is there. They write letters of grief and misery home to their parents, who decide to take matters into their own hands. They set up a meeting of the pair, force them to read aloud the letters each has written, and this brings them back together. Thus begins the story of the Bill and Stella Douglas family, which is chronicled in the second of the series, Stella and Bill.