Sharla Cody is only five but has already had a troubled life. Then she finds herself dumped with an elderly neighbour when her mother takes off for the summer. Although Sharla is not the angelic child Addy Shadd had pictured when she agreed to look after her, the two soon forge a deep bond. To Addy's surprise, Sharla's presence brings back memories of her own childhood in Rusholme, a town settled by fugitive slaves in the mid-1800s. In the spirit of White Oleander and The Color Purple, this is a story about the redeeming power of love and memory, and about two unlikely people who transform each other's lives forever.