Dr. Lily Penleric knows firsthand that it’s hard to be a woman in 1907. After she has, yet again, been passed up for a musicologist professorship, Lily quits the big city to visit her sister, who runs an Appalachian school. While there, Lily finds that early Scot and English ballads have survived in their truest forms in the isolated Appalachian Mountains. In Songcatcher, Lily Penleric tries to win over the local folk to record their musical legacy. While doing so she falls in love not only with the music and the Mountain, but also Tom Bledsoe, a wary man with a dark past, who’s both the most argumentative man she’s ever met and the most interesting.