Haunted by the disappearance of his younger sister forty years earlier, William Talmadge has taken refuge in the careful tending of his isolated apple orchard. His solitary life is shared only with the local midwife, Caroline Middey, and Clee, Nez Perce a horseman and childhood friend. This is until two half-wild, starving and very pregnant teen-aged girls arrived at the edge of his field. They are Jane and Della, sisters who have escaped the abuse of a brothel, and its proprietor, Michaelsen. Curious, but respectful of their wariness, Talmadge works patiently to cultivate their trust and creates a haven for them among his trees. A series of tragedies leaves Jane's baby daughter, Angelene, in Talmadge's care, and sets Della on a lifelong journey to reconcile the demons of her own.

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