Willow, an innocent nine-year-old, woke one night to the sound of a skidding chair and shattering glass, followed by her mother sobbing on the stoop just outside of her bedroom window. She drifted back to sleep but then woke again to the Gremlin, her mother's car, rolling down the drive. When she returned from school the next day hoping to see her mother at home waiting for her, she realized her mother was gone from her life.
Willow was now left alone with her abusive father, whose only reason for keeping her was to serve his need for security. Her life seemed hopeless. Her mother was gone; her dad was continuing the cycle of abuse and she struggled in school because of a learning disability.
Then she meets Bonnie and Willow finally has something to look forward to on many mornings when she sneaks away to her farm. Willow forms a bond with this new friend but then her mother is found, and they must part.
Willow moves to a neighboring town and her life in Sol Valley is forgotten. But one day a call from her father forces her to face the past. Willow learns the one moment in time at the sassafras tree where she met Bonnie, changed the trajectory of her life forever.
Willow must put the darkness of the past behind her but accepting her father's redemption doesn't come easy. Inspired by a true friendship, this is a powerful novel of how friendships and acceptance can empower us.