The year is 1905. It is autumn in the village of Aztec in New Mexico territory. Amanda Dale is burdened with the responsibility of caring for her widowed sister—an invalid—-and Ella’s two children—one a premature infant. But Amanda wants a husband and children of her own and despairs that God does not care about her plight. Schoolteacher Gil Gladney is handsome, intelligent, and God-fearing. He is drawn to Amanda, but feels he cannot propose marriage until he is able to purchase the ranch he has been saving for.
When Gil and his pupils discover the relics of an ancient culture among the ruins outside the village, Gil contacts an old college friend. The possibility of an archaeological excavation excites the community of cash-strapped farmers, eager to earn extra money working on the site.
Gil is delighted when Nate Phillips comes to Aztec to take up the challenge. When a rabid skunk reels through the excavation site, threatening the lives of Amanda and her nephew Rex, Gil realizes that life is short and the possibility of true happiness can be fleeting. In the end, Amanda learns to trust God to provide the happily-ever-after ending she’s been praying for.