Although his years at Barnard's Crossing have never been dull, Rabbi Small is bored with clerical duties and wants to teach. But Police Chief Hugh Lanigan enlists the rabbi to set his scholar's mind to a drunk driving accident that looks like murder.
At the advent of the new millennium, the residents of High Balsam are in desperate need of hope. Economic and social unrest has led to tragedy. For Margaret Bonner, the young pastor of High Balsam's Episcopal church, care of the community is her constant challenge and devotion. But now, into Margaret's well-ordered life, come three strangers — a firebrand female evangelist with a haunted past; an elderly, itinerant man whose visit to this quiet hamlet may be no accident; and a troubled boy who Margaret's husband, headmaster of a progressive, local school, is determined to save.