The story of Laurel McKelva Hand, a woman who returns to the south where her father is dying. After his death, she and her silly young stepmother go back to the small Mississippi town where she grew up. In her old house, Laurel comes to an understanding of the past, herself and her parents. The best part is how the writing puts you right in the story and makes you feel the emotions of the characters.
A speedy tale of a woman, Laurel, dealing with the death of her father and the aftermath he left behind by marrying a woman, Fay, the same age as his daughter. Fay is cursed with the always-frustrating combination of ignorance and pride, leaving the reader with a taste of disgust. The final scene is particularly powerful, as Fay spews some hurtful and personally-directed venom at Laurel.