Sarah was desperate to escape the Lehigh Canal in Pennsylvania. Forced to work the canal path by her father with no money in return, she runs away with Sam Turner and begins her married life in New Jersey. When the couple returns home, tragedy strikes and she is left a widow with three young children. Sarah is left with no choice but to run the lock that used to be Sam's livelihood. Baking bread and washing clothes for the canal men just to make ends meet, she struggles to keep her family afloat.
Elias Brooks inherits his grandpa's boat and the life that comes with it - a canaler on the Lehigh Canal. Despite his father's disapproval that Elias won't sell the boat, and thinking his grandpa wants him to run coal up and down the canal, Elias begins a life that he only glimpsed as a boy. While unsure of whether he wants to run the boat for the rest of his life, he is sure of one thing: Sarah and her little brood needs someone. Could that someone be him? And can they reconcile the fact that Sarah will never marry a canal man?
A charming end to a sweet story, and an easy read. As I've said before about this series, this is a book written in simple language yet a great story. It is a great escape from reality, and you feel as if you are a part of the people, the town and the canal itself. I had to hold my breath when it came down to the decision between Patrick and Elias - for one terrible moment I thought she was going to pick the wrong man. A recommended book and series.