Thus begins the novel set in 1929 rural Arkansas. As the Great Depression takes hold of the land, and millions of people lose their homes and businesses, Elmhurst Plantation is in danger of foreclosure. The plantation owner, Mr. Shep, has other interests, and in a twist of fate, his health is failing.
To save the farm, the women in the household assume control. Shep's wife, Mrs. Nellie, along with the cook, Quilla, and Quilla's assistant, Easter, take on the task of Saving Elmhurst.
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