Backwoods boy grows up and decides he want to be a preacher. Goes to school, graduates, and get a job at Memorial Church in Corinth — a town somewhere in the Ozarks. It quickly becomes apparent that a preacher’s job isn’t to serve God, it’s to serve the committees that run the church.
Deborah and Denny are both Catholics and have no church in Corinth. Denny is crippled and supports them by gardening. Deborah’s husband was killed by Grace Connor’s father, and although a good girl herself, the town has shunned her. Denied the last job she could get, she tries to kill herself. Hope Farwell, a nurse who has absolutely no use for organized religion, cares for her. Dan rather foolishly thought it was his place to minister to these least fortunate of the community. The elders of the church did not agree — particularly not the one that stole Deborah’s mortgage payment and tried to have her evicted — and he finds himself out of a job.
He doesn’t abandon his ministry, but sees no need for churches to get involved in it. He gets into the mining business and marries Hope.
Inscription: “Burton H. Soule, from Mother” on the front flyleaf.