Jack DiCosimo is one of the foremost turn-around artists in the coal industry. Holly Branch Mining is supposed to be just another in a long list of failing mining operations that his distinctive hands-on style of management would bring back to profitability.
Holly Branch's rapidly mounting success soon runs head-on into a plot to steal many millions of dollars from the electricity consuming public. In order for the scheme to work, Holly Branch must be economically destroyed.
Kazuko Tazoe, a nurse from Japan, becomes captivated with Jack DiCosimo when he helps an injured miner and reveals his belief in eastern philosophy. Later, the couple are attacked by professional mercenaries and threatened with death unless Jack leaves Holly Branch. When he refuses, those behind the plot decide to blow up the mine and arrange for an accident to befall Jack.
Kazuko comes to realize that Jack is willing to die before accepting defeat. In the tradition of her adopted homeland, the Appalachian Mountains, she is determined to save the man she now thinks of as her future husband.