"Conrad Clay, a curious and passionate white boy growing up in a depressed, primarily black community in the San Francisco Bay Area, is trying to hold on to the people around him: his mother, who is obsessed with her failing marriage; his father, a drinker who is prone to violence and has been fired from his job; his ailing grandmother, the one person he trusts; and his best friend, Loop, who increasingly distances himself from Conrad under pressure from their peers. As Conrad's family breaks apart, he looks beyond his home for love and attention - a search that will force him into a head-on collision with adult life. For a while, he finds solace in the home of Mary, Loop's self-possessed single mother, who gives him the attention and care his own mother cannot. As Conrad puts his trust in Mary's blind son, Midnight, his life changes in a way he never could have imagined."--BOOK JACKET.