Grieving the loss of her twin sister and the loss of her only true love Charlotte must choose the path her life will take. She determines to honor her final promise to her twin sister Emma to watch over Emma's two children as well as support her husband David. That means that Charlotte must also put up with David's brother Conrad who broke her heart six years earlier when he choose a life in the Navy instead of marrying her.
The war is raging between the Colonies and England. Conrad and David have been transferred from the Atlantic Fleet to the Great Lakes Fleet. Thus they need to move the family. This means that Charlotte, the two brothers and the children, Davie and Ashlynn must travel by boat and then overland to the Great Lakes where Conrad will take his new ship as Captain.
Since Emma died in childbirth they also have hired a wet nurse, Mildred, who is a widow and has just lost her baby boy. She will travel with the group.
The main gist of the story is the overwhelming grief that both David and Charlotte feel over the loss of Emma. This grief is consuming and is in danger of causing them to neglect their duties of raising up Davie and Ashlynn. Conrad seems to be the only member of their traveling party who is not grieving, but that is not completely true as he realizes now that he gave up something special six years before when he walked away from a relationship with Charlotte.
The story will delve into the issues of grief, of love lost, of loyalty and duty as well as integrity. Those issues are portrayed well through the character development of Jennifer Taylor. Also at the end of the book you will find a "Group Discussion Guide" that will be a good tool if you read this as part of a book club.