From the Inside Flap
"I'm bored, Mother. There's nothing else to do and I thought I should learn how to put food on our table in case Lizzie decides to leave, too."
"There has never been a Weatherly who had to work like a Negro, and so help me God, there never will be."
But that's just it, Jo wanted to say. God isn't helping us.
"Did you know that Otis is Lizzie's husband?" Jo asked. Mother looked at her as if she had lost her mind. "And Roselle is Lizzie's daughter. They have two other children, too."
"What in the world is wrong with you? As if it isn't bad enough that you're working with slaves, now you've decided to converse with them, too? Really, Josephine!"
"They aren't our slaves anymore. They're people. We shouldn't treat them like slaves."
"I believe the hot sun has addled your brain. Go splash some cold water on your face and tidy your hair." Mother turned and strode away. Jo followed her down the hall and into the foyer.
"But we have to change the way we do things, Mother. Nothing is the same as it used to be."
"Well, so help me God, I'm going to change everything back."
From the Back Cover
Josephine Weatherly struggles to pick up the pieces of her life when her family returns to their Virginia plantation. But the realities of life after the war cannot be denied: her home and land are but a shell of their previous grandeur; death has claimed her father and brother; and her remaining brother, Daniel, has returned home bitter and broken.
Her life of privilege, a long-ago dream.
Josephine soon realizes that life is now a matter of daily survival--and recognizes that Lizzie, as one of the few remaining servants, is the one she must rely on to teach her all she needs to know. Josephine's mother, too, vows to rebuild White Oak...but a bitter hatred fuels her.
Can hope--and a battered faith in God--survive amid the devastation?
In her bestselling tradition, Lynn Austin brings to life the difficult years of Reconstruction by interweaving the stories of three women--daughter, mother, and freed slave--in a riveting tale.
"Seven-time Christy winner Austin (Wonderland Creek) deftly weaves this story about the Reconstruction era. Strong heroines with depth make this a sure bet not only for CF fans, but mainstream fiction readers as well. Recommend it to readers of Lynn Morris and Sandra Byrd." --Library Journal
"The Reconstruction-era South is realistically recreated." --Publishers Weekly