How an interracial adoption led to love gone wrong, a catastrophe, and a surprising, bittersweet conclusion.
Penny Wilson, a four-year-old black girl, is up for adoption in 1988 Virginia. Nancy Dean, the young social worker in charge, must save Penny's mother, ill, poor, and burdened with too many children. Happily, Jo Nolan Putney, a stunning white riding instructor, applies.
But Jo's intolerant husband and Nancy's attentive boss--attentive to her, then to Jo--soon prove disruptive. Jo shows more heart than sense in trying to rush the adoption. And Nancy strives, at great personal cost, to resolve the mounting turmoil for Penny's sake.
In a climate of racial tension, Penny becomes the center of powerful forces reeling out of control. The upshot is a bizarre killing, a character-baring trial, and a surprising transformation of Penny's world.
Some will see a gripping social drama (with flashes of satire), others a tale of love and sacrifice. But a little child's fate is what it's truly about--and the unbidden truths her fate reveals.
[Complete at 61,400 words. Comments gladly returned.]