The Fairchild family is spending Christmas on Sanpere Island in Maine’s Penobscot Bay while the Reverend Thomas Fairchild recuperates from surgery. His wife, Faith, is rejoicing in the rare holiday family time together, watching ice boaters, snowshoeing, and doing plenty of reading in front of the fire. But her high spirits are dampened when she discovers the body of a young woman in an antique sleigh in front of the Sanpere Historical Society. The teenage victim, Norah, was a drug addict who apparently died by her own hand. Meanwhile, Mary Bethany, a local spinster who raises goats, happens upon a newborn baby boy lying in the manger of her barn on Christmas Eve. The only clue to his identity is a note in the basket asking her to take care of him. Although she wishes to keep the infant, Mary enlists Faith’s help in finding the mother. As Faith seeks answers, she soon finds that the truth behind Norah’s troubled existence is connected to what appears to be a timeless Christmas story—and that just as death and life are intertwined on Sanpere, so are evil and redemptive goodness.