The author presents characters caught up in the struggle for happiness in a rural setting. Guthrie, a high-school teacher, has to face his wife's depression and her desire to separate from him. Their boys, Ike and Bobby, aged nine and ten, have to accept their mother's leaving them. Victoria Robideaux, a pregnant teenager, deserted by her boyfriend, and thrown out of her mother's house, must find a means of survival on her own.
Maggie Jones, the high-school guidance counselor, in love with Guthrie, finds Victoria sanctuary with two elderly brothes living on a remote farm.
The precarious status quo is upset when the boys accidentally witness a rape in a deserted homestead, and are kidnapped and molested by the high-school toughs. Guthrie, enraged by the attack, is arrested as he confronts the boys' tormentors in their own home. Victoria's boyfriend returns and lures her from the elderly brother's home. How these characters resolve their difficulties is told in simple, yet lyrical language, resulting in a compelling novel that has universal appeal.
This report prepared by Betty-Jeanne Korson