In 1896 young Will is his father's constant companion as the family struggles to make a living on a stubborn pioneer farm in Golden Bay. Then fate strikes an unkind blow and life changes in ways that the Tyrrell family, could not have imagined. Five hard years in Whakarewa orphanage in Motueka follow, then work as a boot maker's apprentice, butcher boy and farm hand. Will grows from troubled boyhood to a young man, looked down upon by those who judge according to the prejudice of the day. A force to be reckoned with, Will fights adversity every step of the way as he strives to make his dream a reality, find people he can trust, and marry the woman he loves.