As a young black boy living in the American Deep South in 1963, expectations for adopted 13-year-old Pip aren't great. Segregation is still in full force, as is the Ku Klux Klan - a violent white supremacist group.
Across the street from Pip's new home lives Jack Morrow, an Irish immigrant and hypnotherapist who is working at the nearby university. Jack becomes his tutor, and soon realises the danger that Pip is in - as well as the severity of the racial tensions in the area, putting both of their lives at risk.
This is a gripping novel looking at a turbulent period of American history, and not shying away from the difficult and once everyday aspects of racism. Told in alternating viewpoints between Pip and Jack, the reader gets a real sense of the oppression of segregation. The use of hypnotism is fascinating and puts a fresh spin on historical fiction.