At sixteen, Rachel O'Brian finds herself alone in the world and accepts a home with an old friend of her father's, but she is unprepared for his wife's malice and cannot guess at the secret which feeds the woman's hatred. The younger Maxwells welcome Rachel to their Ayrshire farm, especially Ross, but he too has earned Gertrude Maxwell's spite. When Ross disappears Rachel is dismayed to find herself destitute and expecting his child. How will past secrets revealed help the two find each other again? Can they face the challenges of life at the Glens of Lochandee where they must strive to build up the farm, raise a family, and rear their animals despite the heartbreak of diphtheria and foot-and-mouth disease. Is their love of the land and each other enough to give them the strength and determination to face these hurdles, and more, as the shadow of a second World War looms?