It’s 1907 when a fire in the holler takes Kenny Jo Linder back in memory to a fire that took home and family from her and her little sister.
Ma Hardy, a great aunt who Kenny Jo and her sister have come to the mountains to live with, decides it’s high time to usher her niece out of the pit of grief and guilt. When the annual mission to Willow Forks becomes far more precarious than even Ma expects, Kenny Jo must spend a night at the mysterious “old Doc’s cabin.”
Meantime Doctor Ned Dirkmeyer is riding a westbound railway coach through the mountains when an aging trestle collapses beneath the weight of the train near Willow Forks, resulting in fatalities and life-threatening injuries.
As they struggle to resolve a call-of-the-mountain “catch 22,” what kind of personal account will each one give? As Ma Hardy commences her annual visits, will Doc Ned accept the invitation to accompany this old-time indigenous healer while devising a plan to investigate the disappearance of Doc Ryan? How does Kenny Jo deal with her own injury and the situation between herself and a little orphaned girl? Must she bury the love she feels for Doc Ned when he leaves to commence his westward journey?
The path of honorable endeavor will inevitably present obstacles to try one’s faith and patience. To those who lack vision, obstructions become thresholds to frustration and despair. To the wise, obstructions are only minor detainments on the way to rewarding endowments.