Only nineteen years old, Mali has to make a fateful decision. In order to save her family from ruin, she reluctantly agrees to marry the heir apparent to the largest farm in the village. Many would envy her marriage into richness and prosperity, but Mali herself is unhappy. Chosen for her looks alone, she feels like nothing more but a decorative object. To make matters worse, she is detested by his relatives. They do not see a poor tramp fit as young mistress on Stornes.
Her husband is not capable of giving her the love she longs for so badly. However, a hired farmhand helping with the harvest is more than able to. One fateful summer's night behind the boathouse, Mali commits the sin that gives her the greatest joy in life - but also a lifelong curse.