Thirteen-year-old Zinnia (Zinny) Taylor lives in Bybanks, Kentucky, with too many brothers and sisters, and nothing to call her own. Quiet and shy, Zinny is dwarfed by her large family and the achievements and beauty of her older sisters in particular. Her family shares their house with her Uncle Nate and Aunt “Redbird”, whose deceased daughter Ruth was Zinny's best friend in young childhood, and whom quiet Zinny is closer to than her own parents.
When Zinny discovers an overgrown trail of slate that begins on her family farm, and stretches into the forest, she begins to uncover it, hoping to claim it as her own – one thing that will make her special and unique, and that she won't have to share. After the death of her Aunt, uncovering the trail becomes an all-consuming project, leading Zinny to camp out in the forest, miles from home, as she attempts to reach it's end, and also to uncover the mystery of her Uncle Nate's seeming slide into delusions about his dead wife.
This report prepared by Jennifer Selk