"A dozen miles or more down the Mississippi from St. Paul is Grey Cloud Island, a singular formation rising out of the river..." write a Pioneer Press Journalist in 1894. Long inhabited by Native Americans, treaties forced their removal. Starting in the 1860s, a small community of predominantly mixed-heritage people bought property on the island where they farmed and raised families. The book chronicles their lives over a hundred-year period from the fur trade era to the 1940s, and addresses the complexities of family relationships, work, and ongoing migration. "The first burials, from 1873, were from early French-Canadian families..." reads a plaque at the Grey Cloud Island Cemetery. Stone markers reveal names with little additional information--Civil War veterans, mothers and fathers, babies--there are over 100 unmarked graves. These are the stories of the families--Bourcier, Brunell, LaBathe, Leith, Mavis, McCoy, and Turpin--told by their descendants.