Poletown was once a vibrant, ethically diverse neighborhood in Detroit. In its prime, it had a store on every corner. Its theater, restaurants and schools thrived, and its churches catered to a multiplicity of denominations. In 1981, General Motors announced plans for a new plant and pointed to the 465 acres of Poletown. Using the law of eminent domain with a quick-take clause, the city planned to relocate 4,200 residents within ten months and raze the neighborhood. With unprecedented defiance the residents fought back in vain. In 2004, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the eminent domain law applied to Poletown was unconstitutional—a ruling that came two decades too late.
When Lily Dunoway is told she must trade in her boyish slacks for a mourning dress after her adopted brother dies in the Civil War, Lily takes it to the extreme. She wears it for two years day and night. She’s determined her mourning period will not be over until the dress has fallen away, piece by piece. Meanwhile, her first love, an old childhood friend, Robert, returns to her little country town from Detroit hoping to win her heart. Because of the nefarious motives of his father, who some say is insane, Robert must find a way to be with Lily without marrying her. Both Lily and Robert must go through their own grief together while falling in love again.
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