About the book:
Cotton Mathis is a young man alone in the world. Devastated after the loss of his mother, the young farmhand must now deal with the death of his brother in Vietnam and his alcoholic father's suicide. Isolated and angry, Cotton wrestles his demons, including the suspicion his brother-lauded as a war hero-might actually have been a coward. With little thought of consequence, Cotton joins the National Guard to avoid serving in Vietnam and is plunged into the midst of the civil rights movement. Sixty miles away, Martin Luther King Jr. faces off against a Memphis mayor. When Cotton's unit is deployed to Memphis to control rioting he and his friends naively sense only excitement with no understanding for the racial tensions raging across the nation. Once in the city, Cotton encounters a black war hero and the soldier's remarkable, book-loving father-a man who reignites Cotton's long-buried dreams. Yet these new friends harbor secrets about Cotton's family, including the true story of his brother's death. Faced with personal tragedy, betrayal, and overwhelming anger in the aftermath of Dr. King's assassination, Cotton faces a life-changing decision. Will he forgive and move on, or will he allow his family's ghosts to haunt him forever?
About the author:
News reporter Cecilia Croft Clanton grew up near Memphis and witnessed the aftermath of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination firsthand. Clanton has written for the Springdale News, the Arkansas Gazette, and the Memphis Commercial Appeal. In addition, she has experience in the corporate business world and motion-picture industry. She now lives on a Mississippi farm, where she spends time in her oil-painting studio, minding her chickens and writing.