For Rachel, the best thing about freedom is the chance to learn to read and write. But her family's joy at finally being free is dashed as they face the challenges of life in a barren land and must fight against harsh winter conditions and intolerant neighbours. Worse still, Rachel's mother is pregnant. For a brief moment Rachel wonders if they were better off as slaves. But she is determined not only to survive, but to make the most of her new life.