This debut novel is the richly woven story of a town settled by former slaves on the outskirts of Halifax, Nova Scotia, known as Africville, and of the Sebolt family, who moves there in the 1930s. Teenager Kath Ella Sebolt wants desperately to escape the town that she equates with deprivation and lack of opportunity. Months after her boyfriend is killed during a clash between young people in the village and Halifax constables, she moves with her infant son to Montreal. After attending college as a single mother, and ultimately marrying a white man, she discovers that as much as she tries, severing ties to her former village is not easy. Kath Ella’s son Etienne puts even more distance between himself and the village, first moving across the border to Vermont, and then farther south to Alabama, where he passes for white. Etienne’s son Warner finds his standing in his all-white community compromised by the sudden revelation that he has black grandparents. As the story comes full circle, Warner travels to Africville to get to know his black relatives. They, however, are suspicious of his motivations. The family saga unfolds against the backdrop of Africville, based on a real place that has become a symbol not only of Black Canadian identity, but also of how the human spirit remains resilient in the face of adversity, tragedy and change.