Rachel has just boarded a ship that will take her and her mother from slavery in America to promised freedom in Nova Scotia, where Rachel’s stepfather is waiting for them. For Rachel, the best thing about freedom is the chance to learn to read and write. But the new home that awaits them is not what they imagine. The land is barren, the weather cold and mean. Worse still, Rachel’s mother is pregnant. For a brief moment, Rachel even wonders if they were better off as slaves. But she is determined not only to survive, but to make the most of her new life. How will she do it, in this strange new land?