It is the year 1918, the zenith period of anthracite coal mining and James Mueller, a fourteen-and-a-half-year-old son of a coal miner, is soon catapulted into the arduous life of a mine worker. James' decision is not based on greed or a directive from his parents, but on his desire to help his family financially, after learning that his older brother is to attend medical school in Philadelphia to become a doctor.
Along the turbulent path of his life, James soon discovers that a special bond has formed with one of his seven children, his daughter, Catherine. Catherine faces her own obstacles growing up in the impoverished, idiosyncratic patch town of Shepsberg. The experiences of both James and Catherine are entwined on many levels as they learn the most essential lessons in life from one another.
In the Field of Black Diamonds is based on a true story, which chronicles the tale of a coal mining family set in the anthracite coal region of Eastern Pennsylvania. This is the story of their lives, their journeys, their successes, and their struggles in the black land simply known as coal country.