Southern women may look as delicate as flowers, but there’s iron in their veins.
While the rest of the world has been roaring through the 1920s, times are hardscrabble in rural South Georgia. Widow Maggie Parker is barely surviving while raising her young son alone. Then as banks begin to fail, her father-in-law threatens to take her son and sell off her livelihood—the grocery store her husband left her. Can five Southern women band together, using their wisdom and wiles to stop him and survive the Great Depression?
Goose Island simmers with secrets.
Dorie Cartwright has been living in New York and working in vaudeville as a voice thrower the past six years, finally achieving her place on the best circuit as a headliner. Then she gets a call from home. Her daddy has died and she must come back to Goose Island—a low country, backwater village that holds no interest for a modern girl like Dorie. But there’s no one else to care for her mute aunt, who lives in a world of silent watching, and her delusional mother, who withdrew from Dorie the day her brother drowned eighteen years ago.
Boone Robertson carries an overwhelming sense of responsibility for his employees at the Goose Island Cannery. He’s the only employer on the island for anyone who isn’t a fisherman. He’s also the prime buyer for fish. With banks and businesses failing, it’s only a matter of time before the cannery will have to close its doors. Then a woman offers him a lifeline—take over her late husband’s business. But it comes with a string attached … marry her daughter.
Dorie arrives on Goose Island to a nearly nonexistent market for shrimp, mounting opposition to her operating her daddy’s boat, and the haunting guilt over her brother’s death. Hope rises when she finds a mentor in old Grace Horton, daughter of a legendary fisherman. But there are secrets surrounding Dorie’s family that someone doesn’t want her finding out. With Grace’s help and that of her best friend, can Dorie uncover the haunting secrets from her past and outfox the secret society that vows to keep her from succeeding?
Genesee Taylor is one of the few girls who didn’t leave town for the lure of the big city. She loves the small mill town of Sweetgum, Georgia. Most of all, she loves baseball and one player in particular, Tommy Mack, who plays for the mill team, the Weavers. Then, Tommy accepts a contract from a farm team for the Detroit Tigers. He wants to marry Genesee and have her come with him, but before they can finalize their plans, a fire breaks out in the mill and half the town burns.
The Taylor’s boarding house doesn’t fare unscathed. The kitchen is destroyed along with two other rooms. The biggest loss is her father, who dies in the fire ,and her mother is crippled by her burns. Genesee must stay to repair the rooming house and care for her mother.
Tommy can’t stay and forfeit his dream and Genesee can’t leave. She has no choice but to bid Tommy farewell. When a few of her old friends return to Sweetgum, each with her own problems, they join her to help rebuild the boarding house and their own lives. Will Genesee and Tommy find a satisfying life without the other?