E mmett Truman has never been able to put behind him the loss of a son killed in the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. His grief has closed him off emotionally from his second son, Charlie, and as a result the family is falling apart. He takes them back to Little Eden, as high and remote in the Rockies as possible, where the whole family had their last vacation together, hoping they can relive a happier time.
Almost as soon as they arrive, the power goes out and stays out, and inexplicably cell phones and radios stop working as well. In that isolated village, supplies of food, water, everything quickly start to run critically short. When it’s reported that not a light can be seen on the vast Great Plains, people’s fears become irrational, some even believing that they have survived an apocalyptic event to be the last people on Earth.
The Trumans soon become the town’s scapegoats, even accused of causing the blackout because of the coincidental timing of their arrival. The pressure cooker in which they find themselves only adds to the family’s conflicts, which threaten to explode into violence between father and son.
As the outside situation becomes increasingly menacing, the Trumans decide to flee, but a local bully ambushes them, and manages to destroy their car while stealing their gasoline – trapping them in Little Eden. The threats mount against them until the Trumans are put under house arrest, ostensibly for their own protection, but in fact making them easy targets.
If Emmett initially returned to Little Eden to save his family, now he literally needs to save their lives. Using his Special Ops skills, he booby-traps the house and turns it into a fortress. Father and son are forced to work together to survive, and they do survive – but only because of both their efforts. Emmett’s fortifications keep a murderous mob out long enough for Charlie’s SOS signals to finally pay off when a team of rescuers arrive.
North 40 is the story of how Emmett Truman saves his family while learning to love his surviving son. It’s also a story about how people manifest their fears of the unknown.
Ordinary People meets Straw Dogs in this Hitchcockian thriller.