"Tender characters and exciting plots twists create an enjoyable romp through one girl's newfound Southern roots."
– Kirkus Reviews
issi Jennings has no famiy, with the exception of her cold, critical mother, who makes her feel like a perpetual disappointment. She muddles through life in Washington, D.C. despondent, yet unmotivated to do anything about it. When a horrific accident on a downtown street leaves her shaken, numb, and wealthy beyond her wildest imagination, it also becomes the catalyst for unthinkable change, launching her on a journey to a plave completely foreign to her . . . rural Mississippi. This cynical, solitary woman must confront a lifetime of lies created by the woman she always knew to be her mother and contend with a large, loud extended family she never knew existed. Missi's fortitude is tested by strange new surroundings and an angry, bitter grandfather, but it is a child-like woman with Down syndrome, with whom Missi shares an unbreakable bond, that will change her the most.
“Ain’t this the life?” she asks. I consider this for a minute — working at a gas station in the middle-of-nowhere Mississippi, suffering hot flashes bad enough you have to practically refrigerate yourself, and taking solace in a blow-up pool with a complete stranger. Then I look at Dolly and the expression on her face. I am not sure I have ever seen a person look so content in my entire life.
“Yes, it is,” I tell her. And I mean it.