The book opens with Livi Talbot losing her husband while on the trail west to Kentucky in 1782. Because she has nothing to return to in Virginia, Livi, her two children and the baby she carries continue on the Wilderness Trail. On this difficult trip, several problems impede their travels, including smallpox.
Livi's husband David is best friends with someone Livi can't stand, a half-breed named Reid Campbell. There's been conflict between Reid and Livi throughout her marriage to David; Reid does not think she is good enough for his best friend.
When Livi and the children arrive at the farm and cabin in Kentucky, Reid wants them gone. Livi demands the right to stay in the cabin until her baby is born and the crops that her family (and help) planted is harvested. Reid reluctantly agrees; he knows that Livi is not strong enough to handle the challenges of Indians, the previously untilled land, the children and her pregnancy.
Reid makes his living as a trapper; he is accepted by neither white society nor his Creek tribe. He has been able to handle white society by going his own way and avoiding entangling responsibilities.
Elizabeth Grayson has crafted a wonderfully-written story. At the beginning, Livi hates Kentucky and Reid Campbell. However, she has no choice other than to live in Kentucky and share the property with Reid. It is interesting that Reid learns that he has underestimated Livi from the comments of others. She does not explain to Reid what she and the children endured to get to Kentucky. This is a gritty story; wonderful descriptions are interrupted by watching awful trials and conflicts.