Fourteen year old Joshua Woods would like nothing better than to leave his Catskill mountian home and follow his uncles to Harvard. But it is the Spring of 1824, and Joshua's father, believing strange predictions of a "year without summer", refuses to let him go. And the Chases', a family who once owned his father as an indentured servant, are trying to lure Joshua into their intrigues. Joshua is caught between his loyalty to his father, a man of mixed French and Indian ancestry, and his desire to fit in. Will Josh betray his father?