The segregation lines are clear in 1950s North Carolina, but the bloodlines—not so much. The past and present intertwine when Maggie Winters risks a friendship with Lily and rescues her daughter and Lily from abuse by the same family that tormented Maggie as a young girl in the 1890s.
Raised on a decaying plantation in 1890s North Carolina, Maggie Winters sees it all—a woman beaten nearly to death, hidden in the barn, and healed by her African-American mother; a man lynched; and the machinations of a white woman hired to teach her to read but who has become determined to marry Maggie’s widowed white father. When Maggie’s father is forced by his Virginia family to marry someone more appropriate, Maggie and her mother are left without protection.
In the 1950s, young Caroline Hauser copes with her mother Lily’s descent into madness by reaching out to the spirit world. Caroline’s mother begs Maggie to help save her child from damnation.
Will appeal to readers of The Secret Life of Bees and The Help.