Lena, a young mother living on the edge of heartbreak. Her sister-in-law, Mary, more beautiful than loved. Alvinia, midwife to the county and mother of ten. Gustie and Jordis, trying to make a home together but finding their place on either the reservation or in Charity precarious.
The women come together in the face of natural hardships-childbirth, disastrous weather, and disease-and the unnatural malevolence of people who mean them harm. In the end, they find themselves bound by a secret none of them could have predicted.