"But I don''t look like a Jewish Negro or a black Jew. I look like a black. I am of average height, of average build, with wavy hair that I wear very short, and very dark skin. Talk about an identity crisis."
Ten years after Crabbe, Bell returns to the theme of a young man wrestling with his identity. Zack Lane is uncomfortable with his mixed racial origins. He knows much about his father''s side, the descendants of Romanian Jews, but his mother broke all ties with her family before Zack was born. Why she did so is the "family mystery."
Zack has recently been uprooted when his parents moved from the largest city in Canada to the outskirts of a small town. Friendless, unsuccessful at school and at the lowest point in his life, he undertakes a research project into the life of Richard Pierpoint, former African slave, soldier in the War of 1812, and the pioneer farmer who cleared the land on which Zack''s house now stands. Pierpoint''s story inspires Zack to go to Mississippi to look for his maternal grandfather. What he discovers shakes the foundations of all he has believed in.