The War of 1812 was over. American Colonies had begun recovery efforts in towns and cities ravaged by the invaders. While there was ongoing grief over the loss of sons and husbands who had been killed, others struggled to cope with issues brought home by those crippled both in mind and body. Young Emily Spencer was gradually recovering from a breakdown following her own experience in the war as well as the untimely death of her mother with whom she had recently been reunited.
To lift her spirits, Emilys Aunt Lucinda suggests they take a steamboat ride from Pittsburgh down to New Orleans. Along the way, Emily runs into an old childhood friend James McKee, who suggests she put her trip aside in order to visit the Indiana Territory, where Emily spent a great deal of her younger years. Seeing this as perhaps her last adventure before an arranged marriage, she agrees to go with James.
Old relationships deepen as Emily is drawn once more into the lives of her friends. Working side by side with the Hauffman women at Mamre, she realizes the heartaches of her past have taught her how to comfort aching hearts of others. It seems this is the purpose of her return to Mamre, but God has another reason which she is unable to see and accept until the walls of doubt and fear she has built begin to crumble, allowing her to receive the answer to her deepest desires.