In June of 1977, the summer before her tenth-grade year, Eugenia (Gina) Reese moves with her family from Canton, Mississippi, to the state’s otherworldly Delta region, where she is content to keep to herself, sitting around at her grandmother’s farmhouse in a borrowed seersucker duster watching As the World Turns. But when she dares to take an out-of-the-ordinary and sticky-hot job as a flagman guiding her uncle’s crop dusting planes on their spraying swaths across local cotton fields, she meets a young pilot who unwittingly becomes her reason to get up every day. After her family moves into town so that she can attend Greenville High, she comes to know Lily Ng, an aspiring photographer and the daughter of a local Chinese grocery store owner. The two form a bond when they share their foremost secrets with each other. But Gina never develops interest in making friends at her new school beyond Lily, as her abiding crush on the sparkling-eyed pilot, five years her senior, continues to guide her thoughts and actions. Sadly, her relationship with confidante Lily is strained by teenage bickering during their final year in high school, and on an ill-fated night just five weeks before graduation, Gina’s self-serving behavior contributes to Lily’s mysterious disappearance.
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