Violette and Junior are best friends. Junior wishes they could be more, but Violette being gay prevents that. Yet their friendship is deep and loving. Violette has a complicated relationship with her mother, sister, Jess, and her extended family, the Sinclair clan, who are confounded by Violette’s sexual orientation. A rival clan member, Dale, focuses his hatred on Violette and threatens her, her mother, and Jess. Dale’s clan is also powerful, having the sheriff in its pocket. As the situation worsens, Violette decides to bring Dale down whatever it takes, and, in the process, endangers herself and everyone around her, especially Junior.
Author Nancy Stewart has drawn a very real and complex picture of life in the Ozarks and the people one might encounter there. The character of Violette as a gay person in this environment makes for an interesting story; however, the character makes so many bone-headed decisions that put many people, herself included, at great risk, that it is hard to root for her in this book. While her sexual orientation is central to her character and the story, there is no exploration of her feelings about it, and the book misses the mark because of that.