Levi Motts is a young soldier from north Louisiana who meets and falls in love with a working girl in a brothel in Shreveport. He marches off to war in 1864 and dies in the Battle of Mansfield.
We are introduced to Lonsom Raney, the patriarch of the Raney family. Lonsom Raney’s granddaddy came to this country from Scotland and brought his copper still with him. Successive generations of Raneys continue making and selling corn whiskey in the north Georgia mountains.
The story of star-crossed lovers Levi Motts and Ruby Robison is told from Ruby’s point of view.
Vernon Raney was the great-great-grandson of Lonsom Raney and followed in his older ancester’s tradition of distilling moonshine. Vernon actually continued using the very same still that Lonsom’s granddaddy brought over from Scotland in the 18th century. However, Vernon improved on the recipe, aging the whiskey to a warm tobacco gold color.
Maggie Motts lived across the river from Vicksburg and often looked out her bedroom window and dreamed of a better life. She ends up marrying into a wealthy family, albeit money made from illegal activities. But Maggie fit right in.
Scion of old Dallas money, Louanne Borden went off to school and met Ronnie Raney. Their love burned white hot but did not turn out well, for either of them.
Louanne Borden kills Ronnie Raney after she’d had enough of his rough treatment for years. As she sits in her prison cell she day dreams about fixing up the house.
The singer is Mike Tate, son of Tully Tate, who was around 30 in 2011 the year Mike is telling this story, and seven years after he first entered the bar.
Pearl Robison reviews her options sitting in her car in the parking lot ofthe dollar store she manages in Macon, Georgia.
After leaving Macon, Pearl arrives in Shreveport and meets Jake who bought an all night diner after selling his bar McLemore’s.
Jake tries to get over Pearl’s leaving with a little “fishing therapy”.
Jake McLemore did not know that Lee, his son who was killed in Iraq, had fathered a son in 1996, shortly before enlisting in the army. But in 2006 Jake’s grandson, Hank, showed up with his mother needing a place to stay. This song is sung by Hank when is 22 just after Jake has passed away.
Mildred Hooper turns her home into a thrift store, hanging price tags from the furniture while she continues to live in the house. This is her way of dealing with the loss of her husband, Leon.
Levi Hooper is livving across the street from Lucy Cooper. They meet and begin to fall in love despite the fact that they are nothing alike.
Louanne had been in prison about ten years when Lucy Cooper began her incarceration on a drug charge. Lucy got 18 months but never was released, at least not in the normal manner.
Sonny Tate was a country singer who had moderate success. He was a staple of the Louisiana Hayride, but appeared every now and then on the Grand Ol’ Opry stage. His son, Tully, was often with Sonny when he performed.
Mike Broussard was a mechanic in the Army during the Vietnam War and then later owned his own filling station and auto repair shop in Vivian, Louisiana. A solid guy.
D.W. Washington served alongside Mike “Sarge” Broussard in a transportation unit in Vietnam and then after the war went to Vivian, Louisiana instead of back home to Detroit in order to keep working for Mike.
A friend of Mike Broussard, Tully Tate, tells his story of being a north Louisiana paper pulp mill log hauler.
Eva Broussard is sixteen and pregnant and trying to deal with her situation by dreaming of what names she might choose for the baby.
Tully Tate, son of country singer Sonny Tate, has his hands full with his wife, Eva Broussard. Eva just can’t stay at home with the kids and Tully before she runs off and Tully has to find her and bring her back.