Until that September in 1952, Luke Chandler had never kept a secret or told a single lie. But in that long, hot summer when 10-year-old Luke Chandler comes of age, two groups of migrant workers - and two very dangerous men - come through the Arkansas Delta to work the Chandler cotton farm. And suddenly mysteries flood Luke's world. A murder leaves the town seething in gossip and suspicion. A beautiful young woman catches Luke's eye. A fatherless baby is born, and someone has begun furtively painting the bare clapboards of the Chandler farmhouse, slowly, painstakingly bathing the run-down structure in gleaming white. As young Luke watches the world around him, he shelters secrets that could shatter lives - and change his family and his town forever.