A neglected American classic, written in subtle, soaring prose for which this underrated Kentucky writer was known, this is the spectacular coming of age story of a young, independent pioneering woman
Set at the turn of the century, this is the moving story of Ellen Chesser, a young woman with a mind of her own. She and her family travel from one small community to another in rural Kentucky, eking out a living as itinerant farmworkers. Initially she feels isolated and lonely, resenting the hardship of her life and longing to be with her childhood friends. Yet slowly she learns what it means to fall in love and forges lasting friendships with other young people at the local dances. She is left stunned, therefore, when the man she is to marry comes to her to confess a dark secret. His past is shameful to him and heartbreaking for her but Ellen's independent spirit and strength of character sustain her in the aftermath. When further accusations come to light, they threaten to disturb the tranquility of her life and that of the community where she lives forever. As she grows older, Ellen Chesser is forced to confront the darker side of human nature but ultimately manages to overcome the difficulties she faces with a resolute dignity.