It is 1933, and seventeen-year-old Rhoda Bowling is filled with indignation, outrage, and fear. Th e moment she has dreaded for quite some time has finally arrived. As her train pulls away from the depot in rural Stoutland, Missouri, Rhoda tries her best not to hate her father, but deep inside, she knows he has just ruined her life.
Against her will, Rhoda is heading for Springfield to meet her future husband, one of two men who answered her father's newspaper advertisement soliciting a spouse. Afraid her life will trace the same dismal pattern as Mama's-forever dependent on and subservient to an unloving, unappreciative man-Rhoda disembarks from the train and heads toward Nixa, where the dreaded unknown looms before her. Rhoda knows nothing about her future husband, Zachoriah Kelmsley, except that he is widowed and the father of a young daughter. Only moments after the two strangers meet, they are married in the courthouse, forever tucking away Rhoda's hopes for love and happiness-or so she thinks.
In this historical romance, a young woman on a coming-of-age journey during the Great Depression must dig deep to unleash the fierce independence she never knew she had in order to realize her true destiny.