A rugged climate breeds a rugged people, and the Southwells were no exception. Grover, the son of a ship's carpenter, is the victim of a broken marriage and is sent to Coldwater Orphanage. Made a ward of the state, he is placed with a merciless farmer who won't let Grover stop working long enough to go to school. His father returns for him on his eighteenth birthday, only to find an embittered young man. Grover's story of forgiveness, financial struggle, family love, and salvation encompasses more than just a woodsman's tale of the early twentieth century, it chronicles the settling of the vast northern reaches of a harsh land and the sacrifices that were made to tame it.