This is the story of a young, desperate, rich Negro mother and her children, and her courageous teenage daughter in the south in the 1950's.
Maebelle Hawkins, a young, pretty, divorcee, moves to Derriene Crossing with her heart set on finding the perfect husband. When Rufus Poygoode, a well-to-do, good-looking farmer proposes marriage, she feels her life has come full circle.
But it is a marriage awash in deception. A few weeks after their union, her fantasy world crashes and burns. She shivers when Rufus Poygoode places the cold black metal gun against her nose and calls her Olga Berry, the name of his surrogate mother, for whom he carries a vendetta. No amount of defense convinces him she is not the estranged daughter of his surrogate mother. Crushed by cruel and unusual hatred, Maebelle Hawkins resigns herself to a mere stare of simply existing. Then their daughter Tara Poygoode grows up.
Tara Poygoode is pleased that she has her mother and father's good looks. But she hates him for the humiliation, cruelty, and power he wields over her large family. When she learns that her father won't allow her to attend college, that he is intent on tying her life to the land forever, she vows to take control over her destiny, and rescue her family.
This report prepared by Nancy Weaver