Ada Ruth’s mama must go away to Chicago to work, leaving Ada Ruth and Grandma behind. During World War II, women are needed to fill the men’s jobs. Every day Ada Ruth and Grandma wait, watching for the letter that says Mama will be coming home soon.
Keysha’s wealthy father she had never known has taken her into his family in the suburbs, rescuing her from her selfish mother and the inner-city Chicago neighborhood that threatened to suck her into life as a stoop-dwelling teen mother. With the help of her brother and her new boyfriend, Keysha finally shakes the false accusations of drug use and is ready to start over. But even as she manages to leave her old neighborhood behind, a judge allows her mother to take her right back to the dumps. Can she avoid the ghettoisms of crime and chaos while trying to protect her brother, too?