William and Florence Prater start their lives together with his having all the privileges and control in the marriage. He rarely interacts with any of his seven children, but commands they go by his beliefs and rules. When he becomes an itinerant preacher, there is wide opportunity to be involved with captivated women. His need for lofty adoration is a permanent trait.
Florence, a woman of great inner strength, takes the place of both mother and father, raising their children on bare necessities. She searches out every opportunity to earn enough to keep her family alive—including becoming a tobacco farmer. The children find separate paths as they grow older, but are always tethered to a loving mother whom they can trust with their hearts.