Kim, of Virginia Hill aristocracy, marries the feudally minded Lance Dawson after the Civil War and helps him to break away from his ruined plantation and head north to the all fields of Pennsylvania. There she faces not only his weakness and illness due to his war wounds but also the drama and hardship of the new life and Lance' inability to bend her to him pride and will. For Kim does the wrong thing -- at the wrong time -- she saves lance from a bully's beating, she acknowledges his life with his mistress, she recognizes and respects the love of Greathouse, Pitholo's most powerful oil man, and she proves herself the stronger of the two. There is the background of the mounting boom of Pithole the all strikes that pushed it into national fame and local extravagance, the collapse of the sudden fortunes when oil runs out and fire wracks everything. Greathouse in wiped out -- and dies but lan his money safe at home, is in the clear -- and it is with him that Kim returns to her country. The high color here is a fevered flash and although the setting is believable, Kim is a difficult heroine.