The year is 1867 and the American Civil War is over. The South has been defeated, but the conflict goes on. Yankees now patrol the streets of Richmond, Virginia, and its citizens, both African American and white, are struggling to redefine their roles and relationships. By day, 14-year-old Shadrach apprentices with a tailor and sneaks off for reading lessons with Rachel, a freed slave, at her school for African-American children. By night he follows his older brother Jeremiah to the meetings of a group whose stated mission is to protect Confederate widows like their mother. But eventually, the true murderous intentions of the group, now known as the Ku Klux Klan, are revealed. This unflinching story of a family caught in the struggles of Reconstruction provides a glimpse into the enormous social and political upheaval of the time.