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Set in a world where women of the KKK betray their neighbors, horrors of unscrupulous foundling homes come to light, and buried mysteries are not all that hidden. Georgia 1921. Mute since birth, fifteen-year-old Willow Stewart has one task to complete—to leave her Appalachian homestead and find a traveling preacher and her brother, Briar. When a peddler kidnaps her, she escapes only to face an unjust arrest and penal servitude. The laws are not on her side. Or her brother’s.
Briar is serving time on a chain gang with four months left. When an immigrant boy asks him for help, Briar must decide if he should jeopardize his freedom to help the penniless boy.
Soon Willow and Briar become ensnared in a world of cruel secrets, savage truths, deceitful practices, and desperate predicaments. This is a powerful tale of family, a celebration of decency, and the heartbreak of society’s injustices then that rings true today.
This novel delves into the gut and sinew of fairness, probing often inexplicable questions, as old and persistent as the forest itself.
“A hauntingly beautiful book. Against the backdrop of terror and heartache in America in 1921, Jay celebrates human resiliency, hope, and redemption.”
—Firoozeh Dumas, New York Times best-selling author of Funny in Farsi