Set in a small town in southern Georgia 1948, the book centers around Emily Jean Knowles, a soon-to-be-twelve-year-old girl who lives with Granna. Granna is a staunch Southern Baptist who has raised her granddaughter to be a well-mannered young lady, but Emily has retained much of her childhood "activity" and "inquisitiveness."
The story is full of interesting characters like Emily Jean's favorite Uncle Bob; her maternal grandmother, whom she meets for the first time; her best friend, Starlett; and her favorite teacher, Miss Mary Afton. Uncle Bob comes home to live and work for the summer, and he and Emily Jean separately undertake journeys of religious discovery. [publisher's blurb]