Cast ashore in the American colonies, the Frasers are faced with a bleakchoice - return to a Scotland fallen into famine and poverty, or seize the risky chance of a new life in the New World - menaced by Claire's certain knowledge ofthe coming Revolution.
Still, a highlander is born to risk - and so is a time-traveler. Their daughter, Brianna, is safe on the other side of a dangerous future; their lives are their own to venture as they will. With faith in themselves and in each other, they seek a new beginning among the exiled Scottish Highlanders of the Cape Fear, in the fertile river valleys of the Colony of North Carolina.
Even in the New World, though, the Frasers find their hope of peace threatenedv from without and within; by the British Crown and by Jamie's aunt, Jocasta MacKenzie, last of the MacKenzies of Leoch.
A hunger for freedom drives Jamie to a Highlander's only true refuge - the mountains. And here at last, with no challenge to their peace - save wild animals, Indians, and the threat of starvation - the Frasers establish a precarious foothold in the wilderness, secure in the knowledge that even warcannot invade their mountain sanctuary.
But history spares no one, and when Brianna follows her mother into the past, not even the mountains can shelter a Highlander. For Brianna too has an urgent quest - not only to find the mother she has lost and the father she has nevermet, but to save them both from a future that only she can see.