Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
The year is 1934. With the country in the stranglehold of drought and economic depression, Ella Barron runs her Texas boardinghouse with an efficiency that ensures her life will be kept in balance. She also cares for her ten-year-old son, Solly. David Rainwater arrives at the house looking for lodging, and changes her life in ways Ella could never have foreseen. These changes are echoed by the turbulence beyond the house walls. Friends and neighbours now face financial ruin. The climate of desperation creates a fertile atmosphere for racial tensions and social unrest. Conrad Ellis - privileged and spoiled and Ella's nemesis since childhood - steps into this arena of teeming hostility to exact his vengeance. He and his gang of hoodlums come to embody the rule of law, and no one in Gilead, Texas, is safe. Particularly Ella and Solly. In this hotbed of uncertainty, Ella finds Mr. Rainwater a calming presence. Slowly, she begins to rely on his soft-spokenness, his restraint, and the steely resolve of his convictions. And on the hottest, most violent night of the summer, those principles will be put to the ultimate test.
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