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When high school freshman Jacob Miller and fellow classmate Angie Swenson meet at a secluded deer hunting stand over their summer vacation, they set off a violent chain of events that will haunt them both for the rest of their lives.
In the years following the untimely death of her mother, Angie has endured increasingly brutal and unspeakable abuse at the hands of her father and older brother. Timid and withdrawn in the few social interactions she is allowed outside of the family, Angie has become a pariah at school and is seemingly resigned to a life of lonely, quiet suffering.
Despite Dale and Mark Swenson’s violent reputation in dealing with interference in “family matters,” Jacob–self-assured and hopelessly infatuated with Angie’s sad, damaged beauty–reaches out to her on the last day of school, asking her to meet him at the stand. She initially demurs, but as the summer advances, Angie relents and a secret, healing friendship with Jacob is born.
But as their connection grows, her brother Mark learns of Angie’s furtive visits to the stand, and when he arrives there early one morning to confront her, a deadly encounter ensues that will echo in the lives of Jacob Miller and Angie Swenson forever.