Anna, determined to save tuition for college, agrees in 1919 to serve as school teacher in a remote North Dakota farm area. At first it is a situation which evokes pure horror in the Michigan bred girl. Intolerable heat and dryness, lack of facilities, and hopelessly under-privileged students make her job a constant trial. But as the year passes, as Anna fights her desire to flee, as she meets each crisis with native ingenuity and as she makes deep attachments with her neighbors, Anna becomes a part of the parched community and chooses to make it her permanent home. A moving portrayal of a Swedish-American settlement and of a heroine whose humanity distinguishes her from the many fictional young ladies whose lives are the subject of teen-age fiction.