In the spring of 1896, Rachael, just shy of her twentieth birthday, boards a train destined to a remote cattle ranch in Oregon for a prearranged employment position. An arrangement made by a guilt-ridden wife who could no longer tolerate her husband’s forceful adulterous actions upon their young housemaid. Seizing the opportunity of his wife’s intervention, he demands that Rachael take his two young illegitimate children with her on her journey west; if she wants her father to remain alive.
Traveling west from Brockport, New York, Rachael undertakes her first assignment from her new boss, the ranch owner. She will be required to transact business in a man’s world by overseeing the loading of supplies and freight along the train route. Her third business stop, Rock Springs, Wyoming, brings her face to face with four members of her new employer, three brothers and the ranch foreman. Overwhelmed, she unconsciously turns to one brother for security, beginning his commitment to her.
During the next decade of hard work, Rachael struggles to bury her past. Her new family, the Prestons and their bunkhouse crew, give her an optimistic appreciation of life as she learns there are no social boundaries in the West. By including her in all the daily trials and tribulations of ranch life, cattle roundups, hunting, procuring and preserving their food supply, expanding families, and celebrating holidays, Rachael learns to live and trust again. She receives her second chance.