When a boy is killed by a breakaway rail car, Jolie Bowers’s compulsion to control is stretched to the limit.
The homesteaders of western Nebraska threaten to retaliate against the railroad. And this is only the beginning. In the midst of teaching school, preparing for her wedding, and dealing with the violent reaction to the railroad accident, Jolie finds herself facing trouble from all sides. Mr. Avery shows up with legal papers demanding a return of the family homestead. Jolie’s father, Matthew Bowers, is trying to pull together enough money to build the family the first house they’ve ever owned. Her mother, Lissa Bowers, is injured in a dynamite blast, and her sixteen-year-old brother decides to get married. Her little sister Essie’s sweetheart, Leppy Verdue, is sentenced to be hanged, and fourteen-year-old Gibson is sidelined with the chicken pox in the hunt for an escaped criminal. Some would be depressed and crushed, but for Jolie it is a test of endurance and faith. And for the first time in her life, she doesn’t know how things will end.