written by Joyce Carol Thomas

Avon Books, 1983
ISBN 0-3808-4509-1

Soon to be back in print as an Omnibus collection in November, 2007!

Abyssinia Jackson's father, Strong, was having a hard time facing the fact that his little girl wasn't so little anymore. As if going to college to become a doctor wasn't enough, now Abby had taken to sitting on the front porch in the evening, waiting for Carl Lee Jefferson -- all six foot six of him -- to come sauntering down the road. "Wolves sneaking up on lambs," was the way Strong saw it. For Abby it was nothing short of a miracle.

Then gruesome tragedy struck, shattering the peaceful Oklahoma countryside and Abby's own love-bright world. And when Carl Lee disappeared, consumed by a terror all his own, she found it hard to hope anymore.

What she hadn't counted on was a love more powerful than the darkest evil.

Joyce Carol Thomas continues the story of the Jackson family she began in Marked by Fire, a novel which was named an Outstanding Book of the Year by The New York Times and a Best Book by the Young Adult Services Division of the American Library Association, and won The American (now National) Book Award in the paperback category of children's fiction.

"I intend to finish school!" The veins in his neck became tight ropes.

"Where will you go and where will you stay, Carl Lee?" Abby throbbed with pain, pain that darted back and forth from her injured toe to her aching head.

He looked steadily at her. "I’ll pay my way. I’ll finish school." He wanted to say more, but he swallowed the rest of his words.

"Don’t go," she whispered.

She was close to him. Her lips wanted to lend their sweetness to him for one moment, the sweetness she drank from his eyes. Just for one moment.

Her heart pounded faster and faster. She came even closer. So close she felt the rough fabric of his jeans. She was all caramel custard in his arms. When he held her, her bones dissolved to cream.

He kissed her. When she caught her breath, he was gone.

Copyright 2004-2007 Joyce Carol Thomas. All rights reserved.
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