In 1913, Los Angeles unleashed its Aqueduct, an engineering marvel that carried water from the Owens Valley in the Eastern Sierra Nevada south to the young city. Indeed, the city grew and thrived, and the investors, including self-taught engineer William Mulholland and former mayor Fred Eaton, became rich and powerful. But what about the people at the thirsty upper end of the aqueduct? In this novel, three generations of the Richardson family and their town of Pinyon Creek, high in the Eastern Sierra, encounter challenges from nature, outsiders, and the forces of history. Spence and Molly Richardson share humor, curiosity, and kindness. They also share courage: this is a tough, unforgiving land of spiking mountains, continuous sun, wind in the summer, floods in spring and fall, and blizzards in the winter. It's the land whose winter devastated the Donner Party and whose summer killed pioneers who got lost traversing Death Valley. Most of all, the Richardsons and their neighbors are intensely practical: if the gold has been mined out, learn how to find rocks rich in silver, tungsten and antimony; if your lakes have no fish, breed trout hatchlings and then carry them in water-filled vessels by mule train to those very waters, dump them in and see how they thrive. The whole Richardson clan, and most of their neighbors, are eager to try anything new and to imagine more new things to come: Model T Fords, bulldozers, jobs as extras for the Westerns with Tom Mix and Hopalong Cassidy being filmed on the nearby 'set of the dramatic Alabama hills. But as Owens Lake dries up, farmers and ranchers begin to understand that they have been robbed. The Richardsons, along with the nonfictional Willie Chalfant, the Watterson Brothers and Father Crowley battle the all-too-real Angelinos for their stolen water. The water wars continue to this day, a vital chapter in the history and politics of California.