After a lifetime of working the rich Canadian farmland which he inherited from his father, Ken Purves, who expanded too quickly in the good years, now finds himself caught in a web of mounting debts and shrinking income. Several other local farmers have already gone bankrupt, or have sold out to an eastern land syndicate, but Ken is determined to survive, even if it means civil disobedience and "robbing Peter to pay Paul." He is also reluctant to reveal the depth of his plight to the others in the family—his aged mother, who first came to the farm as a young bride; his wife, Helen, who is prepared to go back to nursing to help the family finances; and his son, Robert, who left home to pursue a business career in Vancouver, but who now wants to return to his roots. Robert, who is undergoing a divorce, also wants to train his son, Sandy, to take over the farm in time—the fifth generation of the Purves family to do so. In a final effort to hold onto his way of life, Ken secretly sells the farm to a land company, with the understanding that he will rent it back, but even this stratagem fails to stave off the inevitable. Yet, as the play ends, a spirit of hope is rekindled as Ken and Robert makes plans to pool their resources and start over—determined to stay with the land at all costs and despite the struggles and hardships this will certainly entail.
An engrossing and deeply revealing play which explores one of the most vexing problems of our times—the failure of the family farm. Faced with the loss of their livelihood—and their home—the Purves family struggles valiantly to hold onto a way of life which has been theirs for generations but which now appears doomed because of circumstances beyond their control.