Grace Graham is back in Tennessee with her four-year-old son on a short unpaid leave from work, helping her father recover from surgery and spending time with her sister. Shoal Creek seems more backward than ever after her years in California, and it's hard to find organic food anywhere.
When the unthinkable happens and her son is diagnosed with measles, Grace's fears over modern medicine take a dangerous turn. Worse, the town has fallen into quarantine and its residents focus their anger and blame on Grace. She is alone and scared, until one brave woman chooses to reach out a hand of forgiveness and mercy. But when the outbreak takes a life-threatening turn, will Grace be able to forgive herself?
Cushman (Leaving Yesterday) creates a highly flawed heroine in Grace Graham, who returns to her small hometown of Shoal Creek, Tenn., after being entreated by her sister to pull some family duty by staying with their father, whom Grace dislikes, after he has surgery. Grace's belief in an all-natural lifestyle includes her refusal to vaccinate her four-year-old son, Dylan, who contracts measles shortly after he and his mother arrive in Tennessee. Grace then comes to see the consequences of many of her choices. This ripped-from-the-headlines, issue-driven narrative has a few problems. Much of the tension in the story comes from the progress of illness in children, so the pace can drag. Minor character Mrs. Fellows is a bit too obvious with her Sunday School story. Women who don't dote on young children won't find this story very compelling, but it will resonate for the audience of mothers whose lives are child centered.