Will Parker, a young man who'd had a lonely life since he was born, served five years in prison and was now released, took a job in a sawmill and was ribbed by the other men, then let go. He answered an ad in a newspaper that was placed there by a rather desperate Eleanor Dinsmore, a pregnant widow and mother of two other
children, The ad was for a husband - and neither Elly nor Will were willing to deny the opportunity for his help in return for a dry place to sleep and meals. The place Elly and her boys lived was rundown and awful - her husband had been more of a dreamer than a doer. With a willing man to do the chores that needed doing, it wasn't long before things started to look better. Elly's cooking and mothering of her boys drew Will's heart but they still didn't marry; he slept in the barn. There was a woman who had an eye for all the men, Lula Peak, and she hoped to work herself around Will, doing everything she could to get his attention. When he befriended the head librarian, Miss Beasley, he was able to add another job (and pay) to his credit and a loyal friend. Finally, Elly and Will married, finding a closeness together than neither had ever had - and her boys loved Will. He helped her with the birthing of her third child, a daughter named Elizabeth Parker (Lizzy P.). The war interfered, though, and Will went into the Marines, honorably serving time in the South Pacific and being discharged with a Purple Heart. After he came home to take up his life again, a murder occurred and was blamed on him - and his and Elly's love was greatly tested.