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Christopher Michael Rhodes is a gifted child growing up in the 1980s in the strange, rural community of New Hope, Georgia in the American Deep South. In this debut novel by Chris M. Vise, inspired by true events, follow a young seven year old boy for the next ten years as he learns to navigate life, love, death and his family that crumbles like the red Georgia clay in a drought. He will draw upon the game of chess and the lessons of the dark wooded ridges of nature surrounding him to maneuver across a boundary of secrets, abuse and betrayal from attempted murder, suicide to sexual abuse and mental cruelty. In the Rhodes family, nothing is as scary as the sound of a cracking pine tree in an ice storm.