In an America of scarce and expensive fossil fuels, unstable government, and seemingly endless resource wars, former street punk Donovan Sloan deserts his National Guard unit—an act punishable by death. He wanders onto a farm in an overlooked valley of the desert Southwest, where Amalia Channing and her sister Carina Cunningham are living a hardscrabble existence, bitter over the loss of the easy urban lifestyle they enjoyed before the collapse of the oil economy.
Against their better instincts, the women take Donovan in and he struggles to adapt to honest farm life. But his old lifestyle of drinking, gambling and petty thievery is a constant temptation. When he falls in love with the object of a federal spy's affections, the fate of his rescuers and their neighbors depends on whether he can for once in his life, put the needs of others ahead of his own.