Six-year-old Rocky worships his older brother Paul - 16 and full of rebel cool, smoking cigarettes, driving around in his Nova blasting Neil Young - until the day Paul, in an ill-advised act of vengeance against their father, picks Rocky up from school and nearly leaves him for dead in the woods. Paul then runs off with his beautiful, fragile girlfriend, never to be heard from again.
Eight years later Rocky is a teenager himself. Although he's never forgotten the abandonment of his boyhood hero, he's now getting over it, with the help of the wealthy neighbors' daughter, Patricia, 10 years his senior, who has taken him as her lover. Rocky's in love - or thinks he is - but the affair sets off a sequence of events that bring ruin to the lives of both families.
In the spirit of Willie Morris, Tom Franklin, and Wiley Cash, this spellbinding debut draws you into a small-town American Gothic story of family fealty, scandal, and murder.