While sitting in her 150-year-old cabin in the mountains of North Carolina at the beginning of the Depression, Collie Wright sees furtive figures emerging from the woods on a chilly, near-winter evening. The figures turn out to be clockmaker Wayland Jackson, a widower on his way to Tennessee to seek work, and his 12-year-old daughter, Paula. Wayland's truck has broke down, and the two have lost their way. Collie allows them to stay the night, and Jackson is immediately taken with her. But she is an unmarried woman with a newborn baby and dark secrets, the object of tawdry talk although her family is the most prominent in the community. Jackson stays to become a clock repairman, to build a clock tower for the community_and to court Collie. But the father of Collie's child, a wild young man from a mountain clan long in conflict with her family, soon returns to claim his rights, and a violent showdown forces Collie into the most painful decision of her life. The Winter People became a feature film starring Kurt Russell, Lloyd Bridges, and Kelly McGillis.