In 1959, thirteen-year-old Marietta Cook is as tall as she is reserved, a quiet outsider in an already marginalized community of slave descendants rooted in South Carolina’s low country. While she and her ailing mother eke out a modest existence selling hand-woven baskets by the side of the road, Marietta often wonders what lies beyond their horizon.
When her mother passes, young Marietta makes her way to Charleston in search of her uncle. What she finds is a nation in turmoil, with the rights of all citizens at stake. Drawn into the wider world of a national movement, Marietta experiences new pleasures, heartbreak, and the uncertainties, as well as joys, of motherhood. As she watches her twins mature into gifted and successful athletes, Marietta comes to appreciate her own gifts in a long life well lived.
A moving portrayal of one woman’s life, USA Today called it “miraculous in its astonishing richness of detail, its emotional honesty, and its breadth of human thought and feeling.” Robert Kirsch Award winner Susan Straight has written an “elegantly constructed” novel with a beautifully vivid sense of place (Publishers Weekly).