Sainte-AdÃ¨le, Quebec, 1889. Donalda Laloge and Alexis Labranche are in love. As Alexis prepares to leave for the lumber camps, the lovers agree to get married the following spring. But fate has other plans for the Laloge family, notably the bankruptcy of Donalda's father, a shopkeeper. SÃ©raphin Poudrier, the mayor of the village and a miserly notary, makes Donalda's father an offer: he'll help the shopkeeper out in exchange for Donalda's hand in marriage. Donalda agrees to marry SÃ©raphin in order to preserve her father's good name and help her family. In spring, Alexis returns, anxious to see his love. However, the shocking news of her marriage leaves him extremely angry and bitter. But Donalda and Alexis's love cannot be thwarted.