It's autumn, 1843, and Kate Alexander and her family are in Oregon at last. Kate is happy the long, difficult wagon trip is over, but after sunny Ohio, she can't accept the dark woods as home. The trees seem overpowering and the silence is scary.
Fortunately Kate's best friend, Tildy Thompson, and her family have staked a claim nearby. And there is much for the girls to explore and discover.
But when Tildy's brother secretly plans to join their mother in California, Tildy decides to go with him. Kate is heartbroken, realizing just how much she depends on Tildy, especially in this new, strange place. Then tragedy strikes, and Kate must find the courage and love to stand by her friend.