A family hides its poverty behind a façade of gentility. A mysterious stranger sows discord in a backwoods hamlet. A man leaves prison only to be drawn back into the darkness of his past. A young bride faces the choice of informing on her husband and his family or enduring a lifetime of deceit.
These nine stories by Pulitzer Prize winner Shirley Ann Grau traverse the landscape of the American South, from New Orleans to the Louisiana bayou to the pine woods of Alabama, but their true territory is universal: the mysteries of the human heart.