Precious Anne Sprately, a mulatto by way of rape, finds herself full of hopelessness and despair in the face of the constant and seemingly infinite oppression that is a way of life in 1940s Virginia.
Living as a Negro, with all of its pain was no longer acceptable to her. And no matter how hard it was or what crimes she had to commit against her heritage, she would do it. At all costs, she had to be free.
Precious, in a final attempt for happiness and peace of mind, takes advantage of her mixed heritage and passes for white.
"A powerful tale of a young black woman who learns what it is to be black by being white."
Mae McBride and Heidi Foster were the very best of friends. Tied at the hip from early elementary school, their relationship was the stuff of storybooks, legendary even in the minds of their high school classmates.
That is, until Mae's father died while saving Heidi's life.
When Mae finds out, she blames Heidi. She blames her father for putting Heidi ahead of her. She blames her friends for taking Heidi's side. She begins to unravel amid that blame and her uncontrollable and atypical anger.
At the same time Heidi is beset by guilt, falls into depression and stops eating properly; wasting away physically and emotionally while waiting for Mae to let her back into the friendship she misses so dearly.
Mae, consumed by her hatred of Heidi, the confusion regarding her father's motives, the perceived desertion of her friends and her mother's grief, loses more and more of herself.
What could possibly bring these two old friends back to each other? A miracle?