This book is based on the true life of Henry Stuart. When the 67-year-old former professor finds out he is dying of tuberculosis, he vows to learn in solitude how to save myself. He sets off for Fairhope, Alabama, with only the writings of his beloved Tolstoy for company. There, the barefoot poet builds himself a small hut and slowly becomes an inspiration for the rest of the utopian town. When his last few months become his last few years, Henry's attempt to understand death becomes a lesson on life.