As Helen Marshall grows up the eldest in her family, she is mentored by her mother who talks to her often about becoming a woman while preparing her for the life that lies ahead of her. But when Helen is promised at a young age to marry a local man, Gustav Krueger, she is overwhelmed by an agonizing fear of the unknown.
After Helen marries Gustav despite her lack of feelings for him, she embarks on a journey into the future where she meets many people who influence her life in diverse ways. As she comes to know illness, devastation, hardships, and separation from her family, Helen ultimately loses her courage and will to go on. But it is not until she finds unexpected love and then sadly loses that love that Helen becomes determined to persevere. No matter what life gives her, Helen must find a way to move into a new future through the strength found in a love that, although it can never be, will always be.
In this historical novel, a determined girl betrothed to a local man at a young age begins a journey into the unknown where she must face many challenges she never expected.