Dorothy Borden is the much-loved daughter of Granston’s first African American lawyer. Dorothy went north for her education, but after a failed marriage she comes back home. If her first marriage was a mistake, her second marriage is a disaster. Joe Cephus Divine is the town’s first black police officer. Joe is a proud but angry man. To improve his status, Joe plans to marry an educated woman, preferably a school teacher. Dorothy is a college professor, and she soon flees his abuse. When Joe marries again, the shoe is on the other foot. Johnnye Jamison, a school teacher from Pennsylvania, may feign interest in the men who pursue her, but for her marriage is just the route to a man’s money. With drugs supplied by a lover elsewhere, Johnnye kills off her husbands. Years later when Dorothy returns to Granston, she learns what happened to Joe and she comes to terms with her own choices and the town she grew up in.
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