Two French priests, friends since childhood, are sent to the newly created diocese of New Mexico. Life there is hard and frequently dangerous. Journeys between parishes are beset by the perils of bandits and storms. The people do not always want to hear the priests' message. But through their many years together, the two priests are sustained by friendship, faith and the magnificent landscapes of New Mexico, until at last they must be separated.
Willa Cather was born in Virginia in 1873 and moved to Nebraska, with its wide open plains and immigrant farming communities, at the age of nine. This landscape would deeply affect her later writing. She attended university and became a journalist and teacher in Pittsburgh, and then a magazine editor in New York. Her first major novel, O Pioneers!, appeared in 1913 and was followed by two more in her prairie trilogy, The Song of the Lark and My Ántonia, as well as her masterpiece Death Comes for the Archbishop. She lived with the editor Edith Lewis for thirty-nine years until her death in 1947.