There is a misconception that all the Acadians, who were exiled from Nova Scotia in 1755 and migrated to Louisiana, were poor farmers and trappers. The truth is, a group of these Acadians were plantation owners. This novel is the real story of the "Cajuns" of Louisiana.
Eliza Landry lives the comfortable life of an upper, middle class Acadian family in southwest Louisiana. Raised in a similar manner, Eliza's mother kept her children apart from freed slaves, who she deems are not suitable.
Oscar Daigle is from a different background and is the owner of a large plantation that depends on freed slaves to run the plantation.
When Oscar asks Eliza to marry him, her mother disapproves, saying plantation life will mean an association with the wrong people. Determined to marry, Eliza insists Oscar would not put her in a place where she would be unhappy.
After the wedding in 1893, Oscar brings Eliza to the house he has built for her on the plantation. She meets the workers and soon realizes she could never hold herself "apart" from them. Her strong will makes her more determined to prove her mother wrong.
During the next twenty-seven years Eliza gives birth to sixteen children. In 1929, The Great Depression forces Oscar to sell parts of the plantation in order to provide the necessities. Shortly after the depression, Oscar dies. Most of the children have families now, and many of the workers have left the plantation. After suffering a heart attack, Eliza dies in 1958, having raised children who became part of The Greatest Generation. They lived through two world wars, numerous illnesses, tragedies, and monumental discoveries. They never once lost their faith in God or in one another.