Tom Blaine, the son of poor coal miners, sees his life with a vision unclouded by coal dust. His intelligence is his key for a better future in his home in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Pennsylvania. Instead of following his father and older brother down the mine shafts, he opts for a life surrounded by love. His heart belongs to Nola, the daughter of the local grocer, and his working hours are spent in her family’s grocery store.
Life in a coal mining community is filled with uncertainty, suffering, and too-frequent tragedy. His own mother had to abandon her dreams of becoming a teacher, lacking the funds to get an education. Tom’s life is tainted by bullies and narrow-minded neighbors, but he is still determined to rise above the odds to build a better life for himself and his lady love. As the nation is pulled into World War II, Tom follows his instincts to protect all that he loves. He enlists and heads into the bloody fields of battle.
Life on the battlefield is a shock to the small-town boy from Pennsylvania, but he does his best, relying on his wits and natural physical abilities to survive. Even on the front line, he uses his natural gifts to bring optimism and humor to an indescribably difficult experience. But are those gifts enough to return him to his wife’s loving arms?