“I was first brought to the circle by my grandmother Vivi, fifty five years ago. She was introduced to it by Chapawee, a woman from the Neusiok tribe, the people who first inhabited this area. My grandmother was one of the first white women to be included in the circle.” Hazel fromHungry Mother Creek.
Vivian Gibbs is going through the motions of her life as a teacher, mother to Goldie, and wife to Bubba, who hasn’t been the same since his brother drowned a year ago in the 1913 hurricane. Everything changes for Vivi when the James Adams Floating Theater comes to town and Adelaide Thornberry, a singer on the boat, decides to stay in Oriental. She and Vivi become friends, and Adelaide, who’s from Boston, introduces Vivi to women’s suffrage and civil rights, and broadens Vivi’s definition of love. Shortly after meeting Adelaide, Chapawee, a Native American who lives on Hungry Mother Creek, invites Vivi and her mother to join her women’s circle. Vivi is intrigued by the opportunity to find wisdom by speaking her truth and connecting to other women, and immediately accepts the invitation. Chapawee is called to teach the tradition of the women’s circle before she dies. She also desires peace and simplicity in her elder years, but this is shattered when an influential townswoman targets her because of the remedy she’s been quietly selling to local women. Suddenly Chapawee’s freedom and home are threatened. Can Chapawee and her circle survive the unfair treatment and harassment? How will Vivi balance her marriage and teaching, with suffrage work and her relationship with Adelaide? Her marriage gives her roots. Adelaide gives her wings. Which will she chose?