Ratio Janson is the crusty patriarch with an infamous background, a hair-trigger temper reverently referred to as Big Daddy by his family clan. His feisty great-granddaughter Jo-Dee overhears shocking gossip at Big Daddy's funeral and is determined to plumb his murky past, from Reconstruction to the present day.
From a vast turpentine industry to the ruins of a decaying plantation with its feudal order a memory, Jo-Dee explores the complex nature of family and self, only to make a startling discovery. Will she betray her great-grandfather and disgrace the family name, or will she preserve his shameful secret?
And on the ancient grounds of the family mansion destroyed in the Civil War, will Big Daddy's spirit claim her even from the grave?