Growing up in Antigua with her mother, Annie John feels like her life is perfect. But as she ages and the world begins to open up to her, cracks begin to appear at home. Tensions form between her and her mother, soulmates from school come and go, and a crushing illness brings Annie John to the realization that for her to have her own identity and live her life to the fullest, she must leave the paradise of her childhood behind.
Helena thought she had buried her early life so deeply that not even her husband was aware of her origins. But the news is unmistakable: a notorious murderer, kidnapper and rapist has escaped from prison, returning to the impenetrable marshes of Upper Michigan where he committed his crimes. Helena should know: he is also her father, and he held her mother and her in captivity in the marshes for years before she escaped. For the safety of her own family, Helena knows she's the only person who knows the secrets to life in the fens, and the only one who can confront her father and return him to justice.
Caroline and Father live in a bucolic park near Portland, Oregon, but their home is a secluded cave that the two venture from carefully so as not to attract attention from the wider world. Thirteen-year-old Caroline is happy with their routine, taking her education from encyclopedias and the natural world. But when Caroline makes a mistake and the authorities discover their home, the outside world comes crashing in. But 'regular' society isn't a good fit, and Father flees back to the mountains, despite Caroline's protests. As Father grows increasingly paranoid, Caroline must face hard truths in order to save them.
A drowning in a South Carolina river pits locals against a grieving family. When a vacationing girl drowns in the Tamassee River, her parents wish to set up a temporary dam to retrieve her body, stuck in a deep eddy. But locals, fearing the environmental effects of a dams on the wild and unspoiled river, resist their efforts. Photographer Maggie Glenn is assigned to the story, despite having sworn off returning to her hometown and her estranged father. Along with acclaimed reporter, her work helps to tip public sentiment--but it comes at a price.
Life on the Alaskan frontier in the 1920s is brutal, and for the childless Jack and Mabel, the isolation can be crushing. In a moment of levity, they build a snow child outside their cabin and wrap it in a scarf. The next day, the snow child and scarf are missing, but the couple instead spot a mysterious child flitting around their cabin. Is she a 'snow fairy' magicked out of the cold and their own imaginations? Or is she a wild child, adapted to the harsh environment? As Faina becomes more of a part of Jack and Mabel's lives, she underscores the importance of community and harsh realities of struggle in a unforgiving natural world.
In rural coastal Mississippi, there's not much legitemate work to find, and even less chance at making much money. For twins Christophe and Joshua, abandoned by their parents and raised by their grandmother, the pressure to support themselves and their families leads each to choose different work--one dockside work, the other drug dealing. As one twin decides to venture into more dangerous drugs, the tension between the two grows, culminating in the return of the twins' addict father and a violent confrontation.