In the dying days of the American Civil War, newly freed brothers Landry and Prentiss find themselves cast into the world without a penny to their names. Forced to hide out in the woods near their former Georgia plantation, they're soon discovered by the land's owner, George Walker, a man still reeling from the loss of his son in the war. When the brothers begin to live and work on George's farm, the tentative bonds of trust and union begin to blossom between the strangers.
With Mama gone to the only place where people stay forever, Mabey now spends her after-school hours at Papa's junkyard. Just when things are beginning to look up, a stranger named Aggy begins to threaten Papa with words that Mabey cannot quite understand. By turns heartrending and hopeful, The Listening is a quiet but powerful tale about a little girl's first experiences with love, loss, race, and forgiveness.