The book opens with five year old Claire Maloney defending 10 year old Roanie Sullivan against the unjust accusations of her cousin Carlton. Related to half the town and the product of the two oldest Southern Families joining together Claire is the acknowledged princess of the town, while Roanie is an outcast, son of the town drunk. When Claire's family takes the young boy in, it is a dream come true for Roanie, but when the family he loves sends him away his heart is broken along with Claire's. Vowing never to forgive her family for sending Roanie away Claire leaves home after college and finds work as a reporter, until a tragic accident forces her back home.
For twenty years Claire has wondered what happened to Roan, now he is back in town for her and confronting the family that sent him away as a young boy.
Claire: My horror was that no one would say a word, that this was beyond words.
For twenty years Roan has kept a Maloney family secret that threatens the family he holds dear. Clair has to find a way to heal the scars from the past so everyone can move forward together as a family or choose between Roan and her family.
This book tears at your heart strings and has you laughing one moment and crying the next. For anyone who grew up in a small Southern town the foibles of the town will be all to familiar. Smith captures the charm of the South and the enduring love of Family in her novel.