Joel Fleischman is far away from home. He finished medical school at Columbia and expected to earn back the money for his loan by working for the state in Anchorage.
The big city life slips away from him, however, as he learns his assignment has been shunted instead to the small town of Cicely. There he has in common with the locals, well, nothing. But he's got a few years, and he owes all that money, so... here goes.
Joel falls in love with local woman Maggie O'Connell, and tries to find friends among the rest of the population. These include DJ Chris Stevens, barhop Shelly Tambo, novice shaman Ed Chigliak, general store clerk Marilyn Whirlwind and retired astronaut Maurice Minnifield.
Initially the locals don't know what to make of the young man from back east, but the two sides warm up to each other until it's almost impossible to imagine life apart.
It's another world out there... and that might be a good thing.
I liked the character stories more than the romantic plotline, but there's something for everyone in this series.