A moving story of a fresh-mouthed, 14-year-old mother who finds strong roots in her family's past and the means for going forward. When Gayle is pregnant for the second time, her mother drags her off for an abortion, then puts her and her infant son on a plane for Georgia. Her uncle--a minister--and his wife and daughter meet her with greatly varying degrees of welcome. Culture shock makes for some rough times, but Gayle unexpectedly discovers a kindred spirit in her bedridden great-grandmother, who not only becomes a confidante, but in an intense, spellbinding climactic scene passes on their family's history in a way that binds Gayle and her son firmly to past, present, and future. Williams-Garcia (Fast Talk On A Slow Track, 1991) plays off Gayle's street-forged language (no profanity, but otherwise authentically rude and gritty), expectations, and values brilliantly against her relatives' gentler conventions. Gayle is sharp and strong-minded, but gut-wrenchingly naive about some things; she continually startles, and is startled by, her devout, strictly raised cousin Cookie. Without moralizing, the author gives readers a good, hard look at the limitations of a world view in which sex and children are casual events (Gayle's indifference to her abortion and to her son's father is downright chilling), then suggests that with love, respect and a push at the right time, no rut is too deep to escape. A gift from a gifted storyteller.