It's 1850 when Edmund and Esther Allan and their young son arrive by river raft in the Fox Valley and Edmund stakes his claim on what he believes to be the perfect site for their homestead-a beautiful hill overlooking 150 acres of valleys and forests. Little does he know that the Indians have already nicknamed the site "The Hill of Many Sorrows."
Stubborn as ever, Edmund will never admit the drawbacks of living on the hill even after the Allan family loses their first crop to a drought. After a surprise blizzard, their provisions run low and Esther sinks into deep despair as the long, harsh Wisconsin winter drags on. But it is not long before Esther is befriended by Sleeping Turtle, an elderly Winnebago squaw who teaches her not only how to survive in the wilderness, but also gives her a new perspective on life. With the squaw's help, Esther starts a business while Edmund harvests his first successful crop. But just as the growing family finally realizes prosperity, a fatal disaster reveals a devastating betrayal.
Now, with her family facing financial ruin, Esther must summon the courage to pull them through their worst crisis.