On October 28, 1862, the Hoopers break into the house of the Watson family and kill three men, injure and resultantly kill one teenage girl, and rape another young woman. Nine-year-old Nathe Watson is a witness to this western North Carolina Mountain massacre, but escapes through a window to get help at the urging of his mother. When he returns, it is to find the heads of the men atop pike poles on display in his front yard. Sent by his mother to live in Tennessee with a cousin, Nathe changes his last name to Milsaps for protection and stays there until he reaches the age of twenty. He returns to the mountains, burdened with the desire for revenge. He is forced to find work to sustain himself as he searches for the men that murdered his family. A young civil-war widow, Addie Fisher, and her two young children, Davie and Clare, are on the verge of starvation when Nathe comes to work with a promise of three square meals and a barn roof over his head. He is torn with fear he will be found by the Hoopers and the growing desire for a family that may never happen. Sickness, fire, and death abound as they plant crops and repair decaying structures, but so do love, family, and loyalty. Nathe keeps away from most residents of Rich Mountain but one, known only as Amps, seems to know too much and offer unwanted advice on things that pertain to Nathe…things he thought no one knew. There is an unknown fact about Addie which could threaten everything. Something Nathe never thought to ask and Addie never assumed to share. Laugh, cry, and work through the need for REVENGE with these true-to-life Appalachian mountain families.