Mooney Wright was the first to venture into the unsettled territory of the moky Mountains in 1779. He had ""An axe. An auger. A knife.""- and the will as well as the know-how of a frontiersman. The deprivations of the first winter took his wife. For a while, Mooney lost his will. The land he had cleared and the cabin he had taken such pride in were allowed to deteriorate. With the coming of Tinkler Harrison, an old man married to a young wife who was coming to found a town where he could live out his vision of kingship, Mooney found new courage to go on. Part of Harrison's entourage, which also included slaves and indigent relatives, was Harrison's daughter Lorry who had been deserted by her handsome, reckless husband to raise their two boys alone. Mooney takes her and her family as his own and the author builds a community and a family on his pages with all the absorbing day-to-day details of the work and lives of the people who settle. Continually challenged by the elements, Mooney must also face the test the return of Lorry's husband brings, This is a circle of life novel made up of the stuff of ballads by a storyteller with a rare ability to convey ""the way it must have been"".