Galveston, Texas, may be the booming city of the brand-new twentieth century, filled with opportunities for all, but to Seth it is the end of a dream. He longs to be a carpenter like his father, yet Papa has moved the family to Galveston so that Seth can become a doctor. Still, the last few weeks of summer might not be so bad. Things seem to be looking up - until a storm warning is raised one sweltering afternoon.
"It was one of the best books I have ever read"
Sadie Wynn doesn't want a new life; her old one suits her just fine. But times are hard in drought-plagued Missouri, and Daddy thinks they'll be better off in Texas. Sadie hates this strange new place, where even children must work at the cannery to help make ends meet and people are rude to her disabled father. Yet when trouble comes, it is the kindness of these new neighbors that helps the family make it through.
Mercy Kaplan doesnt want to be like her mother, saddled with crying kids and failing crops for the rest of her life. Mercy longs to be on her own - until her wish comes true in the worst possible way. It is 1918 and a deadly flu epidemic ravages the country, leaving her utterly alone and penniless.