Set in 1953, this novel follows 21-year-old Celia Henderson during a month of uncertainty in her life. Visiting Galveston, Texas, a barrier island with its own history of instability and survival, Celia faces a series of conflicts - between a lawless Galveston and a hypocritical, 'moral' mainland; between the old south and the old west; and, between homosexuals and those prejudiced against them. Celia, who narrates her story 30 years after the fact, must also cope with a sexual double standard inherent in her attraction to an unhappy law student. As she interacts with her irrepressible cowboy cousin Emmett Chandler and a Mexican American artist, Louis Platon, Celia grows to accept her own fears and understand others and life's continual uncertainties. While Celia personifies the innocence of the 1950s - seldom as innocent as portrayed - this tale offers an inside look at continual social problems in the U.S.
Carolyn Osborn is the author of The Book Club of Texas, The Fields of Memory, A Horse of Another Color, and Warriors & Maidens. She is the recipient of a Distinguished Prose Award from the Antioch Review, a Lon Tinkle Award, and an O. Henry Award. She lives in Austin, Texas.