It is the 1970s and Lafe is a newly orphaned, emotionally vulnerable 16 year old boy who travels from his lost home in Ohio to live with his nearest relatives in southern Florida. Unprepared in any way for the nightmare he encounters, this is a coming of age story where personal grit and determination work to overcome the horrors of a scrap-yard and the racist overseer Snake Kain. This personal account combines delicate touches of caring and pathos intermingled with the gritty realism of the terrible harshness imposed on the lives of those he comes to care about and of course….the story of first love. Can young Lafe survive in this environment of bullying and poverty? The determination demanded of such an uncomplicated boy throws out questions to all the young men of today….how do we cope with fear and loathing in a completely alien environment over which we have no control?
The story is stitched through with strong threads of symbolism and undertones relating to The American Civil War….April 1861 – May 1865. It also tells how the racist Snake Kain, scrap-yard overseer, rules his black workers; how he himself is ruled in turn by alcohol and his iron-fisted wife Miss Lorraine. It describes how the seeds of hate planted in his brutal and warped brain as a result of his upbringing, have grown deep roots. The loathing Snake Kain sows amongst those around him….he reaps in full measure. Is he the victim of his cruel upbringing or a man with no inner strength, with no capacity for change?