The protagonist, Mary Emma Moody, widowed mother of six, has taken her family east in 1912 to begin a new life. Her son, Ralph, then thirteen, recalls how the Moodys survive that first bleak winter in a Massachusetts town. Money and prospects are lacking, but not so faith and resourcefulness. "Mother" in Little Britches
and Man of the Family
, Mary Emma emerges fully as a character in this book, and Ralph, no longer called "Little Britches," comes into his own. The family’s run-ins with authority and with broken furnaces in winter are evocative of a full and warm family life.
Mary Emma & Company continues the Moody saga that started in Colorado with Little Britches and runs through Man of the Family and The Home Ranch. All these titles have been reprinted as Bison Books, as has The Fields of Home, in which Ralph leaves the Massachusetts town for his grandfather's farm in Maine.