In Virginia, Mancie is forced to leave Joseph the man she wants to marry. She is placed onto the emigrant train, headed for Plainview, Texas. Grieving, Mancie sews a piece of Joseph's shirt into her pillow. Then she meets the handsome Abbe who helps her understand the new country. The family deals with rattlesnakes, dust storms and a hailed-out wheat crop, Small Willa Ruth falls from the windmill tower and is taken up dead. When they go back to Virginia Mancie becomes involved with Joseph. Her unwanted pregnancies are the most devastating. Hidden away in a cellar. Mancie seeks control and begins again by accepting her gifts.