Whip-smart Ariel doesn’t fit in — except in the winds of the Blue Ridge Mountains and spring storms that mirror the unhappiness she feels at home. Her brother understands her, but he’s in Afghanistan. Her father hasn't been the same since George deployed. Her mother focuses on Ariel’s gorgeous sister. When Gloria is selected to be an Apple Blossom Parade princess, Ariel feels even more the outsider and takes to the hills.
There, during a raging storm, Ariel finds a lost dog who leads her to the safety of a cabin and Sergeant Josie, a former Army K-9 handler. Together — with music, dog-dancing, and a storm-child-crazy plan — the three outcasts find themselves. In this whimsical tale of self-discovery, L. M. Elliott captures the flavor of Virginia’s hunt country and Appalachia, while exploring definitions of beauty and belonging.