At the threshold between youth and adulthood, Horace Johnson is no stranger to hard work, having worked alongside his father to fell trees and burn the wood into the potash that will pay off their home. But at seventeen, Horace is restless to contribute more to his family and to prove his manhood. When President Jefferson proclaims an embargo against the British, effectively cutting off the family’s ability to make their last payment, Horace sees his chance.

Against his parents’ wishes, Horace sets off to save the family farm, traveling by horseback through unfamiliar territory to Canada. Journeying through the mountains of Vermont, he meets with experiences that make him question whether he’s ready to be an adult, even as he realizes there’s no going back.