Shot down over Siberia in what was to be a simple meet-and-greet-mission, ex-Justice Department agent Cotton Malone is forced into a fight for survival against Aleksandr Zorin, whose loyalty to the former Soviet Union has festered for decades into an intense hatred of the United States. Before escaping, Malone learns that Zorin and another ex-KGB officer, this one a sleeper still imbedded in the West, are headed overseas to Washington D.C. Inauguration Day -- noon on January 20th -- is only hours away. A flaw in the Constitution, and an even more flawed presidential succession act, have opened the door to political chaos and Zorin intends to exploit both weaknesses to their fullest. Armed with a weapon leftover from the Cold War, one long thought to be just a myth, Zorin plans to attack. He's aided by a shocking secret hidden in the archives of America's oldest fraternal organization, the Society of Cincinnati, a group that once lent out its military savvy to presidents, including helping to formulate three covert invasion plans of Canada. In a race against the clock that starts in the frozen extremes of Russia and ultimately ends at the White House itself, Malone must not only battle Zorin, he must also confront his deepest fear, a crippling weakness that he's long denied but one that now jeopardizes everything..
Still mourning the loss of her brother, Ellie encourages the carving talents of his friend, Lloyd, while working at a gift shop in town. But his father disapproves. Every week, Hannah brings home-churned butter to market, and Ezra purchases some. Is he in the market for love? Embarassed by shattering a jar of beets at the Combination Store of Bee County, Texas, Isabella doesn't expect the handsome manager's frosty reaction. And, working together at the Old Amish Mill, Stella and David must find out what's behind strange happenings there..
In the late eighteenth century Rene Sel, an illiterate woodsman, makes his way from Northern France to New France to seek a living. Bound to a feudal lord, a seigneur, for three years in exchange for land, he suffers extraordinary hardship, always in awe of the forest he is charged with cleaning. Rene marries an Indian healer with children already, and they have more, mixing the blood of two cultures. Proulx tells the stories of the children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren of two lineages, the Sels and the Duquets, as well as the descendants of their allies and foes, as they travel back to Europe, to China, to New England, always in quest of a livelihood or fleeing stunningly brutal conditions-- accidents, pestilence, Indian attacks, the revenge of rivals.