A Southern story is never a straight line to the end point. Ask a southerner about an event or how to get to a place and you’ll hear about everyone and everything and everywhere along the way. It lurches forward, then backtracks, goes off center, infuriates and, eventually, rediscovers its luscious, rich, often humorous and just as often, perverse, path. It’s made of, like the South itself, a soup pot of characters—redneck, slave roots, sex, blood, love, hate, war, religion, intrigue and wink of the eye—all chopped, diced and thrown into its cauldron. Often as not, it boils into a mess. But somehow, sometimes, if you enjoy a mélange of tastes, it blends into a delicious, or at least colorful, potage. So settle in, relax and enjoy this saga about a small-town southern Jewish boy and the characters who helped him grow up, learn about sex versus love, black and white, true religion, soul music and jazz, all while attempting to keep the love of his life, the Klan minister’s daughter, and to free an innocent black man, his carpenter hero.