In two volumes. In segregated Tennessee in the nineteen-fifties six free souls find themselves transgressing the rigid social boundaries that still survive the old South.
A teen-age farm boy is fascinated by a letter stolen from a black sharecropper girl asking help from Martin Luther King. He conceals it from his father and his life is forever changed.
The aging owner of a mountain cabin finds a temporary substitute for his deceased wife, as well as a make-believe grandchild despite their racial difference. He feels like a family man again while he and his new love wait to join their spouses in Heaven.
A rich valley boy whose life is fully planned by his father is spellbound by a poor mountain girl who talks like she’s from the 1800’s and can never fit into his father’s plan—and it turns out he doesn’t it into her father’s plan either. But the plans of the fathers are contested by boundless love and courage (and the boy’s ability to take a beating and keep on coming).
Relationships evolve and intertwine as characters struggle with desire vs. fear. Secret meetings and lies abound—not for the first time in the American South—for the enforcement of custom is harsh and sometimes unrestrained. The mountain cabin offers a temporary haven but no safety elsewhere. Violence and disaster await only a simple misstep, a chance encounter, a wrong guess, as the old South flashes its unspent fury and love demonstrates its eternal claim on human hearts.