The year is 1929, and newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton arrive from Boston in the North Carolina mountains to build a timber empire. Serena is new to the mountains - but she soon proves herself the equal of any worker, overseeing crews, hunting rattlesnakes, even saving her husband's life in the wilderness. She soon learns that she will never bear a child. Serena's discovery will set in motion a course of events that will change the lives of everyone in this remote and unforgiving landscape. As the Pembertons' intense, passionate marriage starts to unravel, this riveting story of love, passion and revenge moves towards its shocking reckoning.