Lizbeth Gordon, a school counselor and master at facilitating conflict resolution in everyone’s life but her own, returns home to South Carolina after her husband’s sudden death.
Seeking solace at the ramshackle family cottage, she walks the winter beach, but the quiet life doesn’t last. An elderly aunt has troubling family stories: a blockade runner hunted as a traitor after the fall of Charleston, and ancestors who disappeared during Civil War Reconstruction. Curiosity drives Lizbeth into roots research that dead ends.
Tentacles of the past reach across the continents when Lizbeth takes a job at an international school in Rio de Janeiro. She meets a multiethnic descendant of Confederate exiles, with the Gordon surname and nineteenth-century documents. Robert Gordon’s letters describe bold escapes from Federal blockaders and Civil War intrigue in Scotland. Laurette Gordon’s diary shares a heart-wrenching story of sacrifice.
Can the keys to generations-long secrets open a path to family reconciliation and healing?