The novel opens with Rebecca's journey to Riverboro, to live with her two aunts, Miranda and Jane Sawyer. Until this time, she has lived on the family farm. Rebecca is the second eldest of seven children. Most of the children have fanciful names, such as Marquis and Jenny Lind, influenced by their father's artistic background (Rebecca is named after both the heroines in Ivanhoe). The family is quite poor, due to the number of children, Mr. Randall's inability to stick to a job, and the farm being mortgaged. At the beginning of the novel, he has been dead for three years and the family is barely scraping by. Rebecca's stay with her aunt is a chance to improve her opportunities in life and to ease the strain on her family's budget, with one less mouth to feed. Despite her impoverished background, Rebecca is imaginative and charming. She often composes little poems and songs to express her feelings or to amuse her younger brothers and sisters. It is she who named their farm "Sunnybrook".