In 1910, Maria Chapdelaine, a girl of seventeen, lives with her family on the banks of the PéribonkaRiver north of Lac Saint-Jean. The Chapdelaines work tirelessly to push back the limits of the forest. In a home where even physical exhaustion cannot diminish the warmth of family life, Maria, strong and full of hope, finds herself faced with major dilemmas. François Paradis, a former neighbour she has loved since childhood, who has become a free-spirited fur trapper and a guide for strangers, promises to return in the spring to marry her. But when the spring is overdue, two suitors come forward. Lorenzo Surprenant, who works in the factories of Massachusetts, offers Maria a comfortable existence in an American city, and Eutrope Gagnon, their valiant neighbour, asks her to clear with him the land he has taken near the Chapdelaines’. Thrust into the adult world; Maria will suddenly be forced to decide of her future as a woman.