Breaking one of her momma's prized ten-gallon crocks launches a chain of events that leads Clara to the hoodoo man in this story set in turn-of-the-century Tennessee hill country. To raise money for a new crock, Clara goes hunting with Bessie, her sister, for ginseng plants to trade. After getting soaked in a storm, Bessie becomes deathly ill, and neither the local midwife nor the white town doctor can do much for her. Clara seeks out the mountain man, who knows the ways of herbal medicine and to whom she has been forbidden to speak. Partridge explains how she came to write her first novel in an author's note in which readers meet the real Clara. Although the characterizations and setting are somewhat flat, the story keeps moving, and the details of home and herbal remedies are utterly engrossing. Clara is a plucky heroine and when she is finally appreciated for her efforts, few readers won't be satisfied.