Maggie Pugh, a 13-year-old white girl, lives in the ironically named town of Kinship, Ga., in 1960. After witnessing the brutal beating of Zeke, a black man with whom she becomes close and who gives Maggie her only prized possession -- a camera -- Maggie realizes that the lives of the black people of Kinship are intolerable. Maggie's own life is unbearable, as well. Her mother, physically and emotionally abusive towards Maggie and her father, showers all the love and attention that she is capable of on Maggie's pageant-winning younger sister, Gardenia; Maggie's trashy next-door neighbor, Virgil Boggs, taunts Maggie and then attempts to rape her; and she must clean the house of a stranger to make money for herself and her family. But the stranger turns out to be a fine man, a great friend and mentor, and black. Because of her association with him, Maggie takes control of her circumstances and surroundings. Armed only with her camera against violence and injustice, she will record the truth of what happens around her. Many ""spite fences"" have been built in Kinship; they separate blacks from whites, Baptists from Roman Catholics, and children from their parents. Through Krisher's (Kathy's Hats, 1992) stunning narrative and achingly real characters, Maggie's pain and redemption are brought to vivid life.