In the summer of 1979, the rural town of Ashmoore, Oklahoma has its bucolic world rattled from within by an act of unprecedented violence against seventeen-year-old Jenny Wade. In the aftermath of the attack, the town rallies together but with no immediate arrests, the small-town gossip mills quickly begin to grind the story into pulp, churning with speculation, distrust and doubt, ultimately aimed at Jenny herself.
At the same time, Brian Thompson, the fourteen-year-old brother of Jenny’s best friend, enters into a relationship with Mr. Barnes, his former sixth-grade teacher; a relationship that quickly crosses all moral and legal lines and alienates Brian from his friends and family and brings down on him every childhood fear of being branded and tormented as an outcast.
In the shadows of the gossip and rumor, an unlikely friendship develops between Jenny and Brian—a friendship marked for destruction by a town set on reclaiming its once safe but now fragile existence.
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