Ever since the sixth grade, Emily Zimmerman hasn't stopped looking for traces of gold in the river that runs through her hometown, the site of a minor gold rush in the late 1800s. Geologist Owen Thibodeaux doesn't believe there ever was gold along Nebraska's South Loup River, so he visits the little town of Harmony to try to find hard evidence of it. The little community has a settled spirit that soothes him, so he makes it his home. When Emily takes a job at the local nursing home, she encounters Owen, whose rich baritone voice tells incomplete stories about a small stone from Nova Scotia and the Rock of Gibraltar. Owen's tales stir Emily's imagination, and she determines to help Owen, now blind, re-envision his whole story.