Zack Lane knows about his father's side of the family -- they are descendants of Romanian Jews -- but his black mother broke all ties with her family before Zack was born. Why she did so is the "Family Mystery."
Uprooted by his parents' move to the outskirts of a small town, Zack is friendless and at the lowest point in his life. He undertakes a research project into the life of Richard Pierpoint, former African slave, soldier in the War of 1812, and the pioneer farmer who cleared the land on which Zack's house now stands. Pierpoint's story inspires Zack to go to Mississippi to look for his maternal grandfather. What he discovers shakes the foundations of all he has believed in.
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