Thursday, August 17, 1899, had been as ordinary as dishwater for Cassie Tucker, who lives near Blue Hill, Nebraska. Up until nightfall, that is, when the telegram arrives saying an orphaned cousin is traveling to their farm. Cousin Evan fits in at first, but his independent ways set him apart from Preacher Tucker’s family.
As a carefree Indian summer propels the Tuckers toward year’s end, Mother Nature tests them with everything from drought to dust storms to a blinding blizzard. Cassie fears she could become an orphan, too, as the family becomes separated and she and Evan must fight for their lives.