||Dorothy Garlock travels back to the early twentieth-century to tell the moving tale of a Minnesota woman whose identity and individuality have been eroded by the trials of living everyone's life except her own. Rachel Watkins's life as she knew it ended on the day her sister Alice died in childbirth, while under the care of the girls' mother, the town midwife. With her sister dead, her sister's husband presumed dead in World War I, and her mother withdrawn into a shell of guilt and grief, Rachel takes it upon herself to raise her niece, take over her mother's midwife duties, and run the boarding house which supports them all. Rachel is quickly nearing her breaking point under such a burden, but then she meets a sickly stranger who bears an uncanny resemblance to her late brother-in-law. She must decide whether the likeness is the sign of hope she needs to endure, or just wishful thinking which will lead to crushing disappointment.
||America's heartland at the end of World War I: The flags have stopped waving and the soldiers are home, but for Rachel Watkins, the armistice has brought anything but peace. Day by day, she struggles to run her family's Minnesota boardinghouse, raise her defiant young niece, and keep her family together in the face of shattering tragedy. She can't trust anyone, for the most powerful man in town is using unscrupulous means to take her property. But now a shell-shocked stranger takes refuge with the Watkins family as he tries to heal and salvage what he can from his once-privileged life. When her enemies seize a devastating chance, Rachel and this mysterious loner will risk everything to believe in each other . . . and claim the dreams they'll never surrender.