Jean Gilkyson, pregnant when her husband was killed, is raising their daughter, Griff, in an Iowa trailer house with yet another brutal boyfriend, when she realizes this can't go on. But the only refuge available is a town in Wyoming where her loved ones are dead and her father-in-law wishes she was too.
For a decade he has blamed her for his son's death, choosing to go on living himself largely because his oldest friend otherwise couldn't survive. Bound as close as brothers, they face old age on a faltering ranch, their interdependence even more acute after one was crippled and the other mauled by his own pain.
Suddenly Griff meets this grandfather she'd never heard about, not to mention a black cowboy confined to the bunkhouse, and irrepressibly claims her new life in hopes of turning grievous loss and recrimination toward reconciliation and love.