Ten-year-old Lily King and her mother are being forced from their home in 1952 as part of Detroit’s planned “slum clearance.” With nowhere to go, the prospect of losing her home is just part of Lily’s mistrust of almost everyone, including her bed-bound mother—all 627 pounds of her. Young Lily learns quickly to hate washing each and every inch of that enormous body. She’s full of resentment and is searching for a way out.

Two bright spots in Lily’s life are Miss Jackson, a numbers runner who also sells home-cooked dinners, and Miss Jackson’s boyfriend, London “Shorty” Biggs, a self-proclaimed gangster and jazz trombonist with a big heart. While they watch out for Lily, she’s worried that one day they may leave, too, like everyone else who’s been good to her—including her dad.

Spend time with Lily, the first in a series and a decades-long journey of heartbreak, tragedy, and most of all—survival, and get to know how Lily becomes Miss King.

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