In 1933, a young Jewish family leaves an increasingly tense Germany for New York. Eager to make a place for his family in America, Henrich Schwartz purchases a large acreage in Washington State with plans to plant an apple orchard. With his wife, Anna, and young sons, Hans and Gustav, Heinrich begins to build a legacy in the rich valley of Wenatchee and is fuelled not only by his ambition but also the grief of having left his aging parents behind. As his orchard grows, so does his family and the community around him. Hans trains as a doctor and fathers little Gerhardt, while Gustav commits to the family business and marries. But when a tragic accident threatens to dismantle the family legacy, a secret is buried and changes the fate of the family forever.
A People at the Source of a River tells the story of three generations of the Swartz family, capturing a complex portrayal of how people’s experiences, personalities, values, successes, and failures translate through the years and into future generations.