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When the body of seventeen-year-old Sheila Barnes is found on Lloyd Cottons dairy farm in 1941, nearly all the citizens of the quiet town of Zebulon, Mississippi, feel the effects of her murder. But those most deeply affected by the tragedy include her young husband, Stoney, and the Cotton family, who took Sheila in and grew to love and respect her. Though badly abused by her father, labeled 'slow-witted', and burdened with a physical deformity, Sheila approaches life with a natural, cheerful optimism and an unwavering belief in the healing powers of magic. She quickly becomes the 'Best Friend' of eleven-year-old Annette Cotton, and subtly charms and changes those around her, proving to many that true wisdom often comes from unlikely places. Marshall has created a page-turner of stunning lyrical beauty that is impossible to forget. At the heart of this literary murder mystery is the powerful truth that love conquers all — even death.

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