Soft Rain is 9 years old when her life changes. Without warning, white soldiers arrive at her house. They command Soft Rain and her mother to come with them, taking only the possessions they can instantly pack and carry. They are forced to leave behind Soft Rain's blind grandmother, her father and brother, and even her puppy. It is 1838, the year of the enforced westward relocation of all the Cherokee people. The long and dangerous journey, across rivers and over mountains, through rain and snow, is an unwelcome adventure for Soft Rain and her people.