This book starts where Pearl in the Mist ended.
Ruby is back home in her shack with her baby girl Pearl. After nearly being raped by Buster Trahaw, Ruby agrees to marry her half-brother, Paul. She wants to give Pearl a good home, give Paul a little bit of happiness, and escape to a "magical world" where no one will harm them. But Ruby is still in love with the father of her child, Beau, who is now married to her twin sister, Gisselle. One day, Ruby receives a call from Beau: Gisselle is severly ill. After being bitten by a mosquito, she contracted St. Louis encephalitis, and is now paralyzed and semiconscious most of the time. She will never recover and eventually die. Beau wants Ruby to assume Gisselle's identity to be able to return to him. Amazingly, Paul agrees to the scheme because he realizes that Ruby is unhappy with their marriage. Paul even makes the suggestion to bring Gisselle to their home, so that everyone will think that it's really Ruby who's sick, not Gisselle.
Their plan actually works. Paul and his sisters are devasted over "Ruby's" illness and demise. Then, Paul gets drunk and drowns himself in the swamp. Outraged, Paul's mother, Gladys, reveals to Ruby that Paul let her in on the scheme all along, that it's really Gisselle that died, and not Ruby. Wanting revenge, Gladys gets custody of baby Pearl, claiming that her grandchild should be with her grandparents, and not with her "aunt". Beau and Ruby decide to fight in court to get their daughter back, but it will be a hard battle, especially since Ruby and Gisselle were identical twins; there's no way of telling them apart.
This synopsis report prepared by Marie Morris