It has been five days since her father’s death, and Liz still feels frozen in time. Left with twenty-one years of memories, Liz knows that John Frederick Smith was not a perfect man or father. She loved her father, but his drinking had always been a source of resentment. As she attempts to grapple with her grief and anger, Liz returns to her memories with the hope of finding the answers she so desperately needs.
Sixty-nine years earlier, little Fred Smith is born out-of-wedlock in the small town of Southport, North Carolina. As his life’s journey leads him from Southport to Virginia and then into the military, he eventually marries and starts a family. Still, he cannot escape the cloud of shame and rejection that secretly haunts him, sending his life in a downward trajectory that ultimately affects the lives of his children and grandchildren and leaves him wondering if he will ever find the inner-peace he craves.
In this poignant novel, the past intertwines with the present as an illegitimate child born during the early 1900s embarks on a dark journey fueled by a secret that creates generational challenges.