When Josey Aimes returns to her hometown in Northern Minnesota after a failed marriage, she needs a good job. A single mother with two children, she turns to the predominant source of employment in the region--the iron mines. The mines provide a livelihood that has sustained a community for generations. It’s an industry long dominated by men, in a place unaccustomed to change. Encouraged by her old friend Glory, one of the few female miners in town, Josey joins the ranks of those laboring to blast ore from rock in the gaping quarries. She is prepared for the back-breaking and often dangerous work, but coping with the harassment she and the other female miners encounter from their male coworkers proves far more challenging.
The last thing the miners want is women competing for scarce jobs--women who, in their estimation, have no business driving trucks and hauling rock anyway. When Josey speaks out against the treatment she and her fellow workers face she is met with resistance--not only from those in power but from a community that doesn’t want to hear the truth, her disapproving parents and many of her own colleagues who fear she is only making things worse. In time, even her friendship with Glory will be tested, her already difficult connection with her father, a lifelong miner, will be pushed to its limit and elements of her personal life exposed to scrutiny.
The fallout from Josey’s battle to make a better future for herself and her children will affect every aspect of her life, including her relationship with her young daughter and her sensitive teenage son, who must first cope with the embarrassment of his mother’s sudden notoriety and then face harsh details of her past she was hoping he would never have to know.
Through these struggles Josey will find the courage to stand up for what she believes in--even if that means standing alone.