At the only high school in a small southern West Virginia county, there is an uproar over the death of tenth grader Tyler Hake’s father—and Tyler’s troubling reaction at school—he brings in his father’s blood-soaked shirt. The teachers, many of whom were students at this same high school, attend the funeral of Tyler’s father, a classmate. To everyone’s surprise, another classmate Geneva Burden, also shows up after being gone for decades. Geneva seems interested in Tyler, too, perhaps more than a woman her age should be. The teachers turn their thoughts to the past, hoping to find explanations and perhaps clues for helping Tyler.