Wade has a secret that is unforgivable. First of all, his name isn't really Wade. Second, he murdered another child when he was nine. All he remembers is tossing gas on the kid, flicking open the lighter, then seeing the flames. After several years in a mental facility, the court says that he's ready to reenter society, but society doesn't want him. Painted as a monster, his family must move and assume a new identity to protect themselves. Unfortunately, the bad thing about secrets is that they always seem to make themselves known.
Gail Giles does a masterful job of presenting a crime that could have been ripped from the headlines, and showing the mportance of forgiveness and redemption. She uses the characters to discuss the difference between accountability and guilt to show that one mistake, no matter how fatal, should not define a person if they are willing to learn from it. She also shows that it's never too late for a fresh start and that hatred feeds the self-destructive ghost more than any person ever could.