An incident that happened when she was nine severed Hope from loving relatives on her mother's side of the family. The mystery of this abandonment, which sentenced her and her parents to life in a shabby Detroit neighborhood, colored her growing-up years.
When a call from an all-but-forgotten aunt brings news of the death of Lily, the grandmother Hope remembers from that long-ago childhood, old memories and hurts she thought she had buried rise up again.
In The Missouri Trail, Hope returns to Kentucky to attend her grandmother's funeral and to confront the mystery, but her odyssey to unravel the secrets of the past only brings up more questions. What are the aunts hiding? Do the cousins know more than they say they do? And why does her step-cousin Marty insist on talking about forgiveness?
As the truth unfolds, Hope is forced to address her parents' culpability and her own spiritual deficit. She draws strength from a legacy left her by Grandma Lily--the journal of Hope's great-great-grandmother Mary's 1860 wagon journey to southwestern Missouri where her husband will find work in the lead mines. The journal becomes a road map that points Hope in a new direction and helps her make sense of Marty's wise words.