The story opens with a poem and a premonition just outside Ft. Lewis in the early days of World War II. Young newlywed Maudie Cameron watches her husband and others around her do their part to help on the home front. Feeling left out, she is determined to help with the war effort in the only way she can: she becomes a landlady and rents out one-room cabins and a trailer that resides on her secluded property.
But Maudie, often to her husband's chagrin, becomes more than a mere landlady to the succession of renters that make their way up the path that leads to her door. Her adventures are at times sad and frightening, but more often lighthearted and funny.