"On their Oklahoma farm, brothers Buddy and Lee Hope suffer a brutal alcoholic father. After their parents die in a car crash, the brothers begin a journey that brings them face-to-face with a world filled with racism, betrayal, and despair. Kim Barnes's descriptions ring with poetry and truth, though her plotting lacks precision. In this coming-of-age story, Scott Shina gives an engaging performance. His reading is intelligent and engrossing, but his mature baritone falls short of the mark as 17-year-old Buddy. Shina sounds too worldly to be the ingenuous young man having his first affair with an older woman. Barnes creates a world of the afflicted and dissolute and, while the plot gets cumbersome and the writing occasionally heavy-handed, the characters are believable and substantial. S.J.H. (c) AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine"