Written by master storyteller Anya Seton, this book tells the story of Amanda Lawrence, a young, well educated woman, whose family lost their fortune in the stock market crash of 1929. Pursued by the wealthy and cosmopolitan Tim Merrill, a member of the smart set of young people with whom she associates, she throws him over, to his and everyone's surprise, for Jonathan Dartland. Known as "Dart", he is a young mining engineer who straddles two worlds, that of his half-breed Apache mother, and that of his Harvard educated father, scion of a prominent New England family.
Dart and Amanda marry and move to a rough, depression era mining town called Lodestone. There, she meets a motley cast of characters and discovers what roughing it really means. Both she and Dart have issues that they must overcome or with which they must come to grips before either can find happiness in their marriage. The hardships of living in poverty in a depression era mining town take their toll on the relationship. Moreover, hidden jealousies at the mine impact on Dart's career.
These two lovers then find themselves torn apart by feelings about which neither of them speak. Together, they join with the mine's doctor, the bitter and always drunk Doctor Slater, and go off on an expedition to find a hidden mine. These intrepid explorers seek gold in hopes of attaining their individual dreams. Instead, they are be brought to the brink of death and despair. Yet, Amanda and Dart would find something that they thought had been beyond their grasp.
This novel is not one of Ms. Seton's better efforts. Though some of it is interesting, in terms of depression era life in a mining town, this book did not age particularly well, having a faint anachronistic feel to it. Still, fans of Ms. Seton may find a modicum of enjoyment in reading it.