Two brothers, strongly divergent in personality, with deep roots in Scotland, are forced to an isolated frontier and a troubled partnership. The novel is set in the last decades of the 19th century, along the contested frontier between America and the new country of Canada, amid the backwash of the former's Indian wars. The brothers survive armed conflict, brutal weather, prairie fire, and intense isolation to open an unbroken land. One pursues unconventional love. The other defies authority and bigotry to protect his friends. A plague threatens the whole venture. It is a story of courage, shame, persistence, and loyalty, and its end is another beginning. Based on hundreds of surviving letters, two storylines unfold then merge. The authentic imagery of this tale brands the ancient hills of Scotland and the vastness of the Canadian frontier on the reader's consciousness.
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