Ernest J. Gaines’ novel is set in a small Cajun community in the late 1940s. Jefferson, a young black man, is an unwitting party to a liquor store shoot out in which three men are killed; the only survivor, he is convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Grant Wiggins, who left his hometown for the university, has returned to the plantation school to teach. As he struggles with his decision whether to stay or escape to another state, he is persuaded to visit Jefferson. The two men forge a bond as they both come to understand the simple heroism of resisting-and defying-the expected.Lexile Measure:/ 750L256 pages, paperback, 5 x 8 inches.