After Catherine Reed's husband dies in a tragic logging accident, Catherine and her four-year-old daughter, Clair, move home with Clair's mother and brother in order to accept a new position as the teacher for the town's one-room schoolhouse. But Catherine carries a dark secret that she hasn't even shared with her mother. Will she ever find forgiveness?
Samuel Harris has suffered his own loss, losing his wife and unborn child over a year prior. Although he is the town's preacher, he struggles to trust God, blaming God for allowing him to be absent when his wife died. The guilt has burdened him ever since. But when his old flame Catherine Reed comes back to town, he wonders if they can find healing together.
Catherine believes that anyone who wants to learn should be allowed to learn, but she is quick to find a town divided on that issue. As she and Samuel set out to change people's minds in a post-Civil War era, they find themselves drawn to each other over and over again. As they join together for the same cause, could they also find a second chance at happiness?