When Hannah Reilly leaves Ireland and steps off the ship on the shores of Ellis Island in 1912 she has no idea that it is not a convent that awaits her. It is a man who finds her far too beautiful to marry God. Madly in love, Hannah and Wade settle in Jacksonville, Florida, where the world holds the promise of sunshine. They have two wonderful children before life changes and Wade turns to bootlegging and other women. When Hannah refuses to abort her third child Wade leaves Hannah for a future with a wealthy St. Louis woman but when the depression swallows him whole Wade learns that going back is not an option.