Martha Jane is only seventeen year-old and the daughter of poor Tennessee farmers when her marriage is arranged to nineteen year-old James Finley Olsen the son of a wealthy widowed matriarch. The love affair between an accepting Martha and the handsome, confident James survives only eight years, due to Martha's untimely death just one year before the Civil War. Everyone James comes in contact with following Martha's death pays a price for his bitterness. Including the invading Yankees he madly spends years fighting.Like Martha, the women surrounding James' live and the lives of his brothers and his best friend, Abraham, are women with inner, primitive souls. Beautiful, loving Martha Jane, frightened, young Rebecca, the strong-willed slave Jade, impoverished, illiterate Mary Magdalene, and the sensual Sally. But to live in this male dominated era, they endured unthinkable heartbreak, constant death and disease, harsh physical labor, and even rape. This is a book for anyone fascinated with human emotion, and anyone exploring the lives of women in a historically male dominated era.