The boy isn't much to look at: thin, pale, and undersized for his age. Neighbors shake their heads over Jared Austin's odd ways. His father doesn't think he's good for anything much. Even his friend Jennet wonders what will become of him. But Jared isn't concerned; he has his own ideas about what is really important.
One day a journeyman painter visits their quiet New Hampshire farm, and his unexpected offer sets Jared aglow with excitement. He starts off on an adventure that takes him miles from home and into experiences that bring him to manhood and deepen his faith. But before he leaves, Jared promises Jennet that somedaysomedayhe will come back for her.