Penelope Ann Davis suffers a childhood of abuse at the hands of her older brother before she runs away on graduation night. She escapes on a bus headed north from her home in Atlanta and ends up on a mountain farm in southern West Virginia. There she establishes a happy, contented life as Stella for the next three decades. Then, out of the blue, her brother shows up in front of her church and her life starts to unravel: church money goes missing, her best friend is found dead, and a new church member is in desperate financial straits. Her brother discovers her identity and she faces imminent danger. Underlying the action is wry mountain humor and a tender love story between Stella and an Alaskan Inupiaq man with some mysterious circumstances of his own. First in the Stella and Jonas series.