In 1905, Rebecca leaves her Jewish shtetl in the Ukraine to join her fiancé, Samuel, in Milwaukee. Ingrid leaves her orphanage in Norway to become the Picture Bride of Lars, a widowed Norwegian farmer in North Dakota. But as Rebecca and Ingrid are processed together at Ellis Island, officials put them on the wrong trains and each is sent to the other’s final destination. Lars takes Rebecca to his farm and promises to help her find her way back to Samuel. Samuel convinces his family to take Ingrid in until they can locate Rebecca and return her to Lars.
Alone in a strange country and unable to speak English, Ingrid and Rebecca struggle against conflicting religions and cultures. It is hatred at first sight for the feisty Ingrid and Samuel and his Jewish family. Lars does not understand Rebecca’s traditional Jewish practices. Both women attempt to escape to find their promised new lives in America, but fail and reluctantly return to their alien environments to build new lives.
After nearly a year, Samuel and Ingrid journey to the isolated farm in North Dakota, but the love that has blossomed between Lars and Rebecca threatens to destroy everything.