In the late 1800s, the residents of a small village in the Bari region of Italy, on the shores of the Adriatic Sea, made a mass migration to the promised land: America. They settled in Roseto, Pennsylvania, and re-created their former lives in their new home-town to the very last detail of who lived next door to whom. The hardworking Castellucas work the land outside Roseto. Nella, eighteen, aspires to a genteel life "in town," far from the rigours of farm life. But Nella's dreams of making her own fortune shift when she meets and falls in love with Renato Lanzara, a wordly, handsome, devil-may-care poet who has a way with words that makes him irresistible. Their friendship ignites into a passionate affair that Nella is certain will lead to marriage. When he disappears without explanation, Nella is left with a shattered heart. Five years later, Renato's sudden return to Roseto, just one week before Nella's wedding, leaves her and all the townsfolk shaken. For although Renato has chosen a path very different from Nella's own, they are fated to live together, in the same town, for the rest of their lives.Ambitious, determined and passionate, Nella Castelluca dreams of achieving more than her humble roots allow - an education, and a good job. She lives on her family's farm on the outskirts of Roseto - a town of old world tradition whose annual centrepiece revolves around the Queen of the Big Time beauty pageant. When Nella meets the handsome, worldly, irresistible Renato Lanzara, she believes she has found the soulmate with whom to share her life journey, until an unexpected turn of events leaves her and her fellow townsfolk shaken and shocked.