Growing up in Montana, Sky Daly’s life is close to perfect. Living on the D, the cattle ranch started by her ancestors in the 1880s, she has almost all she could ever want. Her only cause for discontent is her mother, Ursula, who seems determined to make her life miserable.
Once she graduates from high school everything changes. There is no longer a place for her on the ranch. Traditionally girls marry and leave to begin new lives elsewhere. It doesn’t matter that she is the only Daly child who wants to continue the ranching tradition. There is only one way she can see to keep ranching and that includes a trip to California to find the person she thinks can save her.
It is 1968, the height of the hippy movement and when she arrives, she finds herself in the middle of the revolution, surrounded by young people protesting the societal structures she wishes to preserve. The experience changes her life, not only because of the radical thinking she is exposed to, but also because of one particular man she meets.
Will Daniels follows her to Montana. She doesn’t want the hippy around as she’s afraid he’ll get in the way. Plus, she doesn’t think he will ever fit into her rural lifestyle. She finally gives in to his persistent attention, but continuously reminds herself that he is simply a diversion until her plan comes together.
When tragedy, caused by the lies her parents have been living, tears the Daly family apart, Sky is forced to leave the D and she flees Montana. She moves around from one job to the next, trying to find a new life for herself, but is continuously disappointed as she realizes that being a woman doesn’t give her the same opportunity a man would have. Eventually she forgets about not only her former life, but her dreams as well and settles into a life without expectation or hope.
While waiting tables down in New Mexico, she receives news of a murder that once again turns her life upside down. Returning to Montana, she takes over the ranch, but instead of the idyllic situation she envisioned, the survival of the D is threatened.
While she and Will are researching her great grandfather’s life, she finds out that, although under different circumstances, he was also forced off the D and out of Montana. She discovers the lengths he went to in defending the D. Back in his day, it was cattle rustlers and others attempting to destroy his livelihood and take his land.
The threats Sky faces are different but just as deadly. She realizes that, like her great grandfather, she will do whatever it takes to save the family ranch. Whatever it takes.