Stockard Griffin awakes from a nightmare to find that her Uncle Abe
has committed suicide, causing her to move from Sefer Farm, the
family s retreat just outside of Nashville, to New York City. Later
she attends Stanford, and finally settles in Boulder, where her
decisions put her at odds with her grandmother s upbringing.
Stockard s grandmother is the legendary Margaret Griffin, who
discovered as a child that the Old South still saw her as baseborn.
There was nothing she could do about it, and once she realized it,
she found in herself something more independent and fierce.
Margaret Griffin rescues the family lumber business in 1920s
Tennessee using the native wits that a Vassar veneer cannot
suppress. She emerges as the ruthlessly capable protector of her
family. Fifty years later Stockard must sift through her
grandmother s actions as a businesswoman and a wife. It is a
strange and particular obedience that allows her to reconcile the
family s past with what lies ahead.
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