"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen..."
Ruby Graves, a young girl in Depression-era Alabama, faces the hardships of poverty and loss with as much faith as she can muster. At only the age of 13, she's already lost a younger brother to illness and now faces losing both her father and the boy who's stealing her heart to illnesses as well. Armed with her beloved scriptures, she prays daily for their healing, only to have her tender faith shattered by her father's death.
Through her pain, she's able to connect with her long-lost Uncle Asa, whose mere presence at his brother's funeral brings murmurs of a scandalous past involving her parents and a prominent local pastor, Irwin Cass. When Ruby discovers that one of Asa's many secrets is an ability to heal, and that she may be next in line for the "gift", she vows to find the faith that has eluded her so far, a faith that could mean never losing loved ones again.
But faith and doubt can't reside in the same heart, not according to her father, and doubt is Ruby's constant companion. As she struggles to find the true meaning of faith, she's opposed at every turn by the pastor who would see her family destroyed and a community that can't see deeper than the color of one's skin. Through her search for a faith that could move mountains and a true understanding of her gift, can Ruby trust in a God that may require the ultimate sacrifice?
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On my "Best of the Year" list already
- Felita Daniels
Hanceville, Alabama in the '30s