"God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Psalm 46:1-3
The story begins with Harriet in a jail cell in 1920. While there she has time to remember her ancestors and their lives. Lynn Austin uses flashback beginning with Hannah during the days leading up to the Civil War and her involvement with the Underground Railroad. Bebe helped Hannah care for the runaways then and when WWI took Bebe's brothers to war she did their farm chores. Later she fought the use of drink in the Christian Temperance Union when her husband Horatio was controlled by alcohol. The Great Flood of 1876 was a pivotal event in the lives of Harriet's grandmother, grandfather and mother as well as those displaced by the waters when the dam broke. Through all these events we get a picture of life in America for the rich and poor and how God was working in them. Harriet is moved by Bebe's passion to win the vote for women and always to help others as she could. Maybe this is why Harriet was in jail.