In 1910, while twelve-year-old Addy McLeod waits in a cabin in the Kootenay wilderness of southeastern British Columbia for her brother, Cask, to send for her, she fends off the unwanted advances of her alcoholic stepfather. When tragedy strikes, she is forced to flee and disguise herself as a boy. Addy's determined search for Cask becomes a journey of self-discovery as she encounters a tough trapper woman who cares for her when she's ill, works in a hotel in the silver town of Kaslo on Kootenay Lake, and meets her first love, Ian. But just as Addy's search for Cask is about to end, the First World War breaks out and her world is torn apart once again. With great resolve she devotes herself to joining the war effort on the home front and eventually learns what forgiveness is all about.