This book presents a summer of change for America - and for one young woman. The summer of 1964, and University of Michigan sophomore Celeste Tyree travels to Mississippi to volunteer her efforts in Freedom Summer. She ends up helping voters register in the small town of Pineyville, a place best known for the notorious lynching a few years earlier. As the long, hot summer unfolds, Celeste befriends several members of the community who watch her develop into a powerful, strong young woman - and yet there are also those who are threatened by her and fear the changes she represents. All the while she struggles with loneliness, a worried father in Detroit, and her burgeoning feelings for Ed Jolivette, a young man also in Mississippi for the summer.