Richard Randall's family moves from New York to Savannah to establish a shipping company. Richard's son, Jack, finds the Southern city alien. His struggle to fit in intensifies with the death of his mother. Eventually, the Randalls follow the example of many other coastal elite like the rice-planter Rousseaus, customers of Richard's by building a summer home in Habersham County's foothills.
Attracted by the possibility of future railroad tourism, Jack decides to purchase a hotel in Clarkesville, where he meets an unexpected competitor young, lovely, and spirited Mahala Franklin.Orphaned daughter of a Cherokee mother and a man murdered for his gold, Mahala was raised by a farm family in the Sautee Valley, only to be torn from them by her materna