Awkward and clumsy Tressa Neill is devastated when her socialite aunt sends her west to Kansas in 1888 to attend a new school that trains young ladies to be wives to hardworking ranchers. But Tressa soon finds that she is quite handy at practical matters under Mrs. Wyatt's firm but sympathetic tutelage, and that Mrs. Wyatt's staunch faith bolsters her self-confidence and leads Tressa closer to God. Solitary Abel Samms, struggling to keep his ranch despite significant losses he suspects are due to rustlers, soon becomes Tressa's good neighbor, protector, and mentor despite his unhappy past with another eastern woman. And he finds his own faith renewed as he observes Tressa's struggle to believe. Sawyer's plainspoken historical and inspirational coming-of-age romance capitalizes on the resurgence in popularity of bride-train experiences on the American frontier, and offers a unique perspective on the herdsman's schools established on the prairie.