It is 1913, shortly before the start of the First World War, and Annalaura is alone again. Her gambling, womanizing husband has left the plot they sharecrop in rural Tennessee—why or for how long she does not know. Without food or money and with her future tied to the fate of the season’s tobacco crop, Annalaura struggles to raise her four children. When help comes in the form of an amorous landowner, who is she to turn it—and him—away?
In this remarkable first novel, as bracingly original as it is exquisitely rendered, Francine Howard tells a moving story of American desire and ambition and the tragic, slippery boundaries of race under Jim Crow.
“Based on a true family story, this haunting first novel admirably revisits a painful time in history. Too often historical novels about women indulge in anachronistic explorations of feminism, but this novel admirably avoids that trap and instead portrays realistic characters dealing with their difficult lot in life.” —Booklist