Peyton is not ready to share her widowed father with anyone, let alone a barely remembered cousin who just rolled into town. However, her father seems to like Nora well enough, and prim Aunt Augusta hates her, which raises Nora slightly in Peyton's esteem. Maybe Nora is just what quiet Lytton, Georgia, needs this summer. The whole household is revitalized by Nora's energy, and it looks like she might stay on forever. But soon it becomes clear that something is troubling Nora deeply. It has to be something from her past that's bothering her, something she is running away from. When the shocking truth comes to light, it stuns the residents of their small segregated town. It also teaches Peyton the enormous cost of loving - and the necessity of doing it anyway.