The second volume of the Homesteaders Series traces the Ytterhorn family through its first year on the new land. Arriving in May, they claim land, build a cabin, break sod, raise a garden, and grow wheat for bread. They seem to be winning the race to provide sufficiently to survive the harsh winter.
In September the Olson family arrives from Norway to claim the adjoining plot of land. The Ytterhorns immediately aid their new neighbors in their struggle to prepare for winter. A third family claims two plots of land, but they have arrived so late that their preparations are make-shift.
Despite the uncertainties and harsh conditions, the three families develop a community, begin a school and church, and seem to be thriving when disease and tragedy strike. By spring, all has changed.