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Karen Godwell isn't as much ashamed of her mountain heritage as of what she once had to do to preserve it.
Karen reinvents herself at college and doesn't look back until her clan's historic farm is threatened. The gutsy curator at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art returns to the mountains only to come face to face with who she was and what she did.
Descendants of the early settlers still have a grip on the farmlands deep in the folds of the southern Blue Ridge Mountains, but the ground is shifting beneath their feet. Cousin Bruce, the town historian, sees life through the family's colorful 200-year past; Tom Gibbons, a local conservationist, keeps one eye on the mountains and the other on Karen; Karen's nine-year-old daughter, Hali, is in the throes of the mission her dying father sent her on; and Karen is hiding the ugly secret that drove her away.
As she wrestles her dangerously cunning brother for the farm, Karen straddles the divide between the staunchly independent mount