Sometimes traumatic events bring about the greatest changes in life ... When a young Caroline Lansing moves to the tiny town of Smokey Run with her parents, she leaves behind her a familiar city life and is forced to adjust to life in a small town. Despite her often unstable home life, Caroline learns the value of friendship and love in her journey to settle happily in her new life. Her father is an alcoholic but does his best to provide for his family; and her mother is made old before her time by having to care for such an unreliable man. Seeking solace and comfort from the maelstrom of her parent's turbulent marriage, she turns to her best friend, Kevin Haley, for support. As they grow and embark upon their own romance, Caroline learns that the long-standing bonds of affection are strong but are not secluded from exterior forces. When Kevin proves unfaithful, Caroline is certain that there are not trustworthy people left in the world. Hating everything about her life and desperate to hide from the pain of a broken heart, she takes on a disguise. Transforming herself into Laddie McKenzie, a woman of experience far beyond her own, Caroline decides to take another chance on life.