Survival, Healing, and Triumph of the Human Spirit, set in settlement of early 1800's Ohio frontier. Meet the key women of Hearthstones: Amanda Jane Bently Harrison, displaced, petite, southern-belle, ill-equipped for life in the wilderness, struggles to find herself, her true home and lasting happiness, while hardship tests the limits of her capacity to endure. After nearly losing life and mind, she finds strength through stubborn support of midwife "Ma" Hawkins, steadfast friendship of Lucy Jarvis, and stalwart help of sister-in-law Sadie. Edith "Ma" Hawkins, skilled midwife, treats men with contempt - especially preachers who "Waste too much time God talkin', 'stead of pitchin' in to do what's needed out here." Ma displays unquestioned patience with the women who most need her help, among whom Amanda Jane ranks foremost. Ellie Mae Thompson, long-time settler known as "the infernal optimist" by her midwife sister, carries on despite abandonment, accusation of murder, and a stint in the whooscow. "I am not ready to give up on men yet, no matter what my sister Edie says." Ellie's mettle gives newfound-friend Libby Howard the courage to persevere in this wilderness. Olivia (Libby) Howard, citified newcomer from Connecticut to the "Fire Lands" of Ohio, fears this land will claim her children. She seeks guidance from Ellie Mae, as a lasting friendship grows through their ongoing correspondence, weaving together the strands of our frontier women's lives. "You amaze me, friend. All that you have endured, to remain so undaunted... Acorns for buttons. I never would have thought!"