Ruby Torvald has turned Dove House, the scandalous inheritance her father left to her and her sister, into a respectable establishment. Her newest boarder is Pearl Hossfuss, a twenty-two-year-old schoolteacher from Chicago. Hiding scars within and without, Pearl has given up hope that any man would want to marry her. Her father has his own ideas, insisting she marry his clerk, a widower with five children.
So Pearl flees to Dakotah Territory in response to an ad requesting a teacher for the town of Little Missouri. She finds teaching in this rural setting rewarding and interesting–even more so when she makes the acquaintance of an intriguing young carpenter, Carl Hegland. But just as her future begins to look brighter, news arrives that her father is coming to take her back to Chicago.
When disaster threatens, will these lovely jewels of the West be forced to abandon their dreams?