Jemimah Barraclough, a devout Christian, happily married with four children, lives in the small north country town of Moorthwaite. A recent stroke of good fortune has enabled her family to enjoy a standard of living far above that which her husband, Bob, could generate from his employment as a maintenance engineer on the railway. In certain quarters Jemimah is adjudged to be a fair-weather Christian who would reject God if her family and home were destroyed. This is the same accusation that was directed at Job in the Old Testament.
The story, set against the background of work in progress on the Settle and Carlisle railway, relates how Jemimah is stricken by successive disasters, losing her home, husband and two of her children. Throughout all her adversity Jemimah is supported by the rector of Moorthwaite, the Rev. Arthur Metcalf, who takes the family into his rectory.
Phil Smart, a contractor working on the railway arrives on the scene with marital problems and no faith but becomes so impressed with Jemimah's Christian faith in adversity that he is won over to Christ.
It is when disaster strikes the railway that Jemimah faces her greatest challenge.