Precocious 12-year-old Louisa Mae Cardinal lives in the hectic New York City of 1940 with her family. Then tragedy strikes--and Lou and her younger brother, Oz, must go with heir invalid mother to live on their great-grandmother's farm in the Virginia mountains. Suddenly Lou finds herself coming of age in a new landscape, making her first true friend, and experiencing adventures tragic, comic, and audacious. But the forces of greed and justice are about to clash over her new home . . . and as their struggle is played out in a crowded Virginia courtroom, it will determine the future of two children, an entire town, and the mountains they love.