The story is set in the Rhondda Valley in the early 1930s. It chronicles the trials and tribulations of the peoples, set against the backdrop of the aftermath of the General Strike and the Great Depression in the South Wales Valleys. It is principally seen through the eyes of a newly ordained chapel minister, the Reverend Dan Price.
The story is peopled with colourful characters who mostly struggle to live their lives during the economic troubles. They include Dan's uncle, Shoni Lloyd, an ex-First World War soldier and confirmed non-chapel goer, Morgan 'Big Mog' Morgan, an ex-miner, ex-soldier and now a successful bookie and philanthropist, and David 'Dai Hippo' Daniels, an ex-miner and firebrand Communist activist.
- Rebirth of a Nation: Wales 1880-1980, Kenneth O. Morgan, Oxford University Press, 1981