In recent years, Riley Thompson has developed a gift, if anyone would really call it that. The ten year old girl from a small town in Indiana doesn’t understand why she can feel what others feel, or see what others have seen. She only knows the hurt upon looking into the eyes of her mother—the beneficiary of her father’s recent run of bad luck. A streak that has hardened his heart and often finds him drowning in the bottom of a bottle. She tries hard to be just like the other fifth graders, but life at home is hard and the pain is difficult to endure.
It isn’t until the day Riley meets Carl Boyd, a Vietnam veteran, that everything changes. Visions of a terrible past, not just from war, but from a life that has stolen much from him, begins to surface in Riley’s mind. But this is far more intense and frightening than anything she has experienced before.
Riley discovers her gift is quickly evolving and finds herself swimming in the memories of Carl Boyd, and experiencing a past he can’t put behind him. Even more troubling; perceiving a future of which he doesn’t yet know—a future filled with danger.
All are reluctant to come to terms with Riley’s ability, especially her father. But then, he has seen this before.