Welcome to Grassy Creek North Carolina. The year is 1919 and a pandemic is sweeping through this small, Appalachian farming town. Doc Waddell rides horseback from sickbed to sickbed while the townspeople crowd into church for a revival. Dread Cox seeks the aid of a local midwife because he "cain't afford a real doctor". Tax collectors make a precarious journey on mountain traces to collect a debt. Crystal befriends Georgia, a "colored" girl despite the prejudices of her dad. The deputy sheriff makes a detained moonshiner give his word that he won't run off before letting him spend the night in the family guest room, and Florence Porter refuses to let them bury her eleven-year-old daughter.
While often "stranger than fiction", these are the true accounts of the author's grandparents who faithfully abided by the eighth commandment: "You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another", as well as the other nine.