Small towns have long memories, and the people of Dogwood, West Virginia, will never forgive Will Hatfield for what happened. Still he returns, intent on pursuing the only woman he has ever loved -- only to find there is far more standing in his way than lost years in prison.
Karin has buried her shattered dreams by settling for a faithful husband whose emotional distance leaves her isolated. Loaded with guilt, she tries to raise three children and survive the best she can.
The secrets of Will and Karin's past begin to emerge through Danny Boyd, a young boy who wishes he hadn't survived the tragedy that knit those two together as well as tore them apart. But the trigger that will lay bare their past and force them to face it is the unlikely figure of Ruthie Bowles, a withered, wiry old woman whose prying and persistence forces unexpected consequences.
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