In the summer of 1955, Carolina Collins is struggling to find her special place among her three older sisters. The oldest, Kentucky, is the most popular girl in town; Virginia is the prettiest; and Georgia is the smartest. Their single mother works hard but barely manages to keep the family afloat; still, she indulges the girls with treats like movies and new hair-dos. Then their 13-year-old cousin Tadpole shows up with his guitar and his smile, and things start to change. Carolina discovers the talent no one knew she had, and her sisters start to appreciate their mother s hard work. But why is Tad there? As they find out that he is running away from an abusive past, the Collins sisters pull together to try to save him from returning to it.