A first novel by the most significant new American writer to have emerged in years. Aloma is a young woman who has put aside her life - as well as her dreams of becoming a pianist - to move in with her lover, Orren. His family has recently been killed in an accident. Stricken with grief and overwhelmingly burdened by the shape that his life has taken, Orren is desperate to keep the tobacco farm running. There is a drought, and he needs it to rain. As he toils with the land, Aloma finds that Orren has become more remote than she could ever have imagined, and that silence has taken hold of their relationship. When she begins to play the piano for the local church, she meets the local preacher, and feels a dangerous attraction for him. As events unfold over this single summer, C.E. Morgan takes us on a journey which describes the journey of our own lives. This novel is about every single relationship between a man and a woman - past, present and future - and about the distance between the lives we lead and the lives we imagine for ourselves.