Life is hard in the early 1900s in the bottomlands where the Ohio River overflows its banks, and the sloughs overflow, too. Heavy rains last for days and the water comes roaring in like an out of control freight train, taking anything in its path. The only means of transportation, even to the local store is a row boat.
Life is even harder when you’re not only poor, but also a different color and nationality than your friends, neighbors, and some of your own family. Jeka is a child who is shunned and taunted because of her Indian heritage.
Rejected at birth by her blood mother and legal father she befriends a girl her age who is also of mixed race. Suetta is the one person who really understands Jeka and they become the best of friends. Together, they help each other through hard times until one day they are forced apart and life gets even tougher for each of them in different ways.
Jeka endures abuse at school and at home, with no one to turn to for help. She dreams of some day freeing herself from a life that feels like slavery. Until then, she keeps in mind the lessons she learned from her grandmother who taught her to believe in herself and be proud of who she is. No matter what anyone says.
As a young adult haunted by many unanswered questions about her heritage and how she came to be, she goes on a journey to find the truth and ends up finding more than she bargained for.