In the aftermath of WW II, the Hartwell family struggles to remain whole as a season of change descends upon the South. Old loyalties and familiar ties are abandoned as their sleepy community lashes out with hate when Burke Hartwell, Sr. chooses to defend a black maid who is accused of stealing a priceless heirloom from the man who wants to remain the U.S. Senator from Virginia.
As his world fills with confusing strife, 13-year-old Lee Hartwell struggles to avoid the perils of first love, break the silence between his family and the brother they refuse to understand, and make his way in a time of unrelenting change. Through it all, his father counsels and confides, easing the path of maturity with a strength of conviction that takes a lifetime to learn.