The summer of 1970, Janet Johnson was best known to her peers as an introverted poetess. Raised in the mountains of western North Carolina by parents whose religion taught fear and shame, Janet had buried herself in books and her writing, occasionally coming up for air to spend time with her fearless friend Shirley. All of that was about to change. Her relationship with Anthony Blue Cloud, a young Cherokee artist whose parents had returned to the mountains after raising him in upstate New York, turned her world upside down as the two navigated prejudices, becoming young adults together, and the twists and turns of challenging the status quo and threatening small town hypocrisies. Enduring violence, alienation, and heartbreaks, together they master lessons of resilience and fortitude rarely learned on more familiar paths. From her entrance into Anthony's world, delving into the Cherokee language and culture, to her escape onto the streets of Mexico City's sprawling metropolis and return back home again, Janet's sense of identity is shaped and transformed in ways previously unimaginable to her.