The series takes place in Mauricie, in the Province of Quebec, at the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century. The daughter of Caleb Bordeleau, Émilie, decides to continue her studies. She faces great opposition from her family, but becomes a school teacher. Falling in love with one of her students, the adventurer Ovila Pronovost, she is torn between her teacher's vocation and her love for Ovila. After their marriage, they move to Shawinigan and have a lot of children. Ovila, always attracted by the big areas, and the only job he seems able to hold down is as a lumberjack, leaves the family to go to live in up north, where his wife and kids cannot follow.