Kieran Lucas's grandmother is slipping into dementia, and, when her memory is gone, Kieran's last tie to the family she barely knows will be lost forever. Worse, Granny Mac is being tormented by flashbacks of her mother's death and the loss of their home.
In 1931, Rosie McCauley's Smoky Mountains home is threatened by the Tennessee Great Smokies Park Commission as they create a new national park. But Rosie vows the only way they'll get her land is if they haul her out in a pine box. When a compromise offers her and her disabled sister the opportunity to stay for her lifetime, it seems too good to be true.
Ornithologist Benton Fuller arrives to conduct a bird survey for the park and the two form a tenuous bond. But their friendship broadens a rift between her and the other mountain folk who are suspicious of any government connections. Then the discovery of an illegal still in the woods near her cabin leads to a violent clash between sides that could destroy them all.
Eighty-five years later, Kieran heads back to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to find answers to her great-grandmother's mysterious death and bring peace to Granny Mac before it's too late. Park Historian Zach Jensen may be the key to locating both the answers and a precious family heirloom. But just as in the past, Kieran's needs clash with government regulations. Will Zach block her from recovering what she needs and solving this family mystery?