Growing up in early twentieth-century Illinois, Ruby Drake is a happy child. But one winter's night, her beloved parents perish in an accident and suddenly Ruby finds herself penniless and nearly alone in the world. Her new path eventually takes her to Harvester, Minnesota, where she finds work on the farm of the Schoonovers, who soon become a second family to her. Ruby falls in love with Roland, a married neighbor. When Ruby is asked to care for Roland's wife, Ruby is torn between duty and passion.