Annie journeyed to America from northern Italy at the age of eleven. She lived with her grandparents since she was a baby, banned from passing through Ellis Island due to an eye disease. Now she’s is ready to join her family, but life is not what she expected. She expected warmth, but met coldness and indifference. She expected plenty, but met want. Annie’s accent makes her the object of ridicule. The innocent, warm girl begins to change to an unhappy one, and hardens as her bleak environment is more than she can handle. The bright spot in Annie’s life is a fellow outcast, Curtsey, a black girl whose family fled from a segregated South to settle in Harrison County, Ohio, after the Civil War. Will Annie stay and adjust, or surrender to her circumstances and retreat to Italy?