Born in Sweetwater, West Virginia, with a mop of flaming redhair and a map of the world rendered in port-wine stains on every surface ofher body, Garnet Ferrari is used to being an outcast. With her sharp tongue,she has always known how to defend herself against bullies and aggressors but finds she is less adept at fending off the pilgrims who have set up averitable tent city outside her hilltop home, convinced she is Saint Garnet,healer of skin ailments and maker of miracles.
Her grandmother, the indelible Nonna Diamante, believes Garnet’smystical gift can be traced back to the family’s origins in the NebrodiMountains of Sicily, and now the Vatican has sent an emissary toSweetwater to investigate. Garnet, wanting nothing more than to debunkthis “gift” and send these desperate souls packing, reaches back into herfamily’s tangled past and unspools for the church a tale of love triangles onthe shores of the Messina Strait; a sad, beautiful maiden’s gilded-cagechildhood in blueblood Virginia; and the angelic, doomed boy Garnet could notprotect.
Saint or not, Garnet learns that the line between realityand myth is always blurred and that the aspects of ourselves we are mostashamed of can prove to be the source of our greatest strength, and even oursalvation.