In 1947 racially-charged Mills Hollow, South Carolina, Chloe Mason knows not to go near the Negroes who live in the river shacks, especially sixteen-year-old Big Jim. He’s something of a myth, a big black boy known for eating opossums and howling at the moon. At least that’s what Chloe’s brother, Caleb, and her Pa, a fiddle-playing Southerner who waves a Confederate flag, tell her. Yet, when Chloe slips into Foxhole Swamp, it’s Big Jim who saves her from an alligator. She secretly befriends Big Jim and takes it upon herself to teach him to read, even bringing him a forbidden peach from Widow Jones’ tree. Chloe meets Big Jim in a tree fort he constructs in the woods, and together they endure the injustices Big Jim suffers – like being whipped by Chloe’s father for trespassing. But once her father discovers their secret meetings and is ready to lynch Big Jim, Chloe’s loyalty is tested to the breaking point, calling into question everything she’s come to believe about herself, her family, and what truly matters most.
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Lisa Belmont was born in Maryland and has fond memories of making snowmen and sledding down snow-covered hills. She's traveled extensively throughout Europe – enjoying the chocolate of Switzerland, the tea in London, and the shops in Paris. She rode a camel in Morocco, went scuba diving in Tahiti, and outrigger-canoe surfed in Hawaii. But she's most at home when she's creating vividly imagined characters like those found in her debut novel, A Peach For Big Jim. She now makes her home in Seattle, Washington.