Lonely Iris Courtney learns about life in the small town of Hammond, New York, where blacks and whites live separate lives. She learns of love from her parents - hard-drinking, hard-living Duke Courtney and his stormy marriage with the lovely but troubled Persia Courtney. But Iris learns most from Verlyn "Jinx" Fairchild, star of the basketball courts, his hopes for a way out of Hammond pinned to a college scholarship. Their lives are shattered one terrifying night when Jinx defends Iris against "Little Red" Garlock, the vicious hillbilly who hates both blacks and whites alike. And forever after, Jinx and Iris are locked in a bond of violence, shame and secrecy.
©1991 Joyce Carol Oates; (P)2009 Phoenix