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Two little girls—one white, one colored; one free, one a slave; one never afraid, the other ever looking over her shoulder—become unlikely friends in Bedford County, Virginia, in 1852. Instinctively they know they must keep their friendship a secret. Both girls, Willa and Surry, are from loving families, but Surry’s parents are slaves and can’t protect their daughter from the plantation overseer’s cruel hand. Overhearing her parents argue about “bein’ free,” Surry asks Willa to find out what bein’ free means. The answer brings heartache to both girls, their childhood innocence lost in the wake of the coming War Between the States.
Across Virginia in Loudon County, much is expected of thirteen-year-old Levi Clement. He must help run the family farm and mill, and mind his brothers. He’s expected to marry Comfort Clarke when he reaches his majority age of twenty-one. Levi struggles with his urgent feelings for Comfort and his urgent feelings to fight the bullies who challenge his Quaker way of peace. He’ll never raise his hand against his fellow man, never.
When the war begins in earnest, in April 1861, the lives of Willa, Surry, and Levi are broken apart, each thrown into unimagined paths. There’s no safe haven from the pain of war, except perhaps . . . finding love. In this first of a romantic series set amid the unfolding drama of the Civil War, is there a place, a moment in time, where even the most doubtful, the most impossible of relationships might just be possible?