Drought has forced farmers around the small town of Bountiful in the Hope region of Oregon to mortgage their property. Then word comes of plans for a spur line to run through the area and join the railroad in nearby Milton. Folks with money see an opportunity to fill their coffers by buying farmland cheap then selling to the railroad for a profit. The Bank of Bountiful, owned by Eli Whitman, appears to be doing that, as well. Widowed two years earlier, Eli, with a son and daughter to raise, sought a hard-working, educated Christian woman to care for them and his home. Olivia Moore filled the bill, and as soon as Eli recognized her as an excellent investment, he offered her first employment then a marriage of convenience. While Olivia is an excellent choice, her large family gives Eli pause. He knows about the problems posed by in-laws, so he will do whatever it takes to avoid a repeat of his earlier experiences. When Papa tells Olivia the Moore family must move according to Eli's terms for the new railroad line, she fears for their safety, since they'll be homeless during winter. Where will they go? How will they survive?
It is up to Olivia to convince her husband to renege on his demands, though she swore before their marriage she would stay out of his business.