North Carolina in the 1970s still had strained relationships between blacks and whites. Opinions about gay lifestyles were something that weren't discussed.
In May of 1977 workmen found the body of a murdered woman along with her child, who was still alive.
In 1990, defense attorney, Deborah Knott, sees legal injustice by a judge in his courtroom. His prejudice against blacks is so obvious that Deborah decides to run against the judge in the upcoming elections.
Jed Whitehead was a childhood friend of Deborah's and her brothers. At a political meeting, he tells her that his daughter, Gayle, wants to look into her mother's death.
Since Deborah is a friend, Gayle pleads with her to run the investigation and mix it in while running for office.
With the campaign, we are treated to intimate descriptions of political rallies and Church picnics where Deborah gossips about the life and times, as she looks for voter support.
Deborah is like the girl next door and we are easily drawn to her. Her father was a famous bootlegger and with her extended family we learn about the country folk in detail.
An enjoyable novel and well deserving of the multiple literary awards it received.