The novel tells the story of Lara Cameron, a successful real estate developer who came from a broken family in Nova Scotia. Lara's mother dies in childbirth and her Scottish father doesn't want her. Early in life, she learns to fend for herself and how to get her own way in a male-dominated world. After her father's death, Lara makes a deal with the owner of the boarding house to secure her first building. Thrilled at her success, she moves to Chicago to start her real estate empire. Even though she encounters many problems, she is able to overcome them all and become one of America's most successful businesswomen.