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The mid-century summer was heavy, not only with the Appalachian humid air, but with the raw emotion of a stranger in their midst. The New Girl. The New Girl with the deeply colored skin and the straight, shiny, ebony hair and the father who prayed on a rug facing East each morning. The New Girl who changed the hearts, minds and lives of everyone in the small, provincial mountain town, merely by accepting a ride on a hot summer day to the local swimming hole.
"Sacred's not a word I've ever much liked. But maybe some things, and some places, just are. And maybe the Blue Hole was one of those things."
Shelby (nicknamed Turtle) never had any female friends. But when a mysterious girl from Sri Lanka moved to town in the summer of 1979, Turtle invited her to a secret haven: the Blue Hole. Turtle had no idea how much that simple gesture would affect the rest of her life, or the lives of those she loved.
In a time when America was technically well beyond the Civil Rights era, there were those in Turtle's small Appalachian town who rejected the presence of someone different. And in just one summer-in a collision of love, hate, jealousy, beauty, and a sacred, muddy swimming hole-nothing and everything changed.
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