It’s 1972 and Isabelle is four years old. She, her eight-year-old brother, and their mother are grappling with yet another harsh Maine winter under crushing poverty. With their father absent, their mother takes the children South to Georgia to be near her family.
Their extreme economic hardship continues as residents of a public housing complex in Albany. Their lives become juxtaposed with the phenomenon of “White Flight” as they, a Caucasian family, become a local minority living among a societal minority. The predominately white world outside the public housing development is largely unknown to Isabelle and her siblings. Meanwhile, those with whom they most identify (the children in “The Projects”) reject them or directly take their frustrations out on them. Not being easily accepted by either side, Isabelle struggles to figure out where she belongs.
That is, until she becomes best friends with Evelyn, a Black girl who moves in across the driveway. Their friendship blossoms and flies in the face of typical racial attitudes of the day. They become each other’s lifeline and hope in an environment rife with adversity. Soon, however, they are confronted with an earth shattering event that completely changes Isabelle’s view of the world.