A teenage girl comes to terms with her abusive childhood by seeking emancipation in order to find her first love and embrace her powers as a witch.
Odessa was dubbed the Demon Child from the day she was born in the midst of a thunderstorm on Halloween. She is a redhead with a fondness for rattlesnakes and she’s never quite fit in with her father’s Pentecostal church congregation. After her sister runs away to Raleigh with her boyfriend, Odessa is befriended by Carmella, the new girl in town and the daughter of a Haitian Hoodoo practitioner. Their friendship in the late 1950’s shocks the rural costal town in North Carolina.
Disowned by her father amid accusations of witchcraft and associating with coloreds, she is taken in by Carmella’s family and homeschooled by Mama Jubilee and Tante Effie, a white woman blinded and widowed when her black husband was killed in fire Charleston. In her new home Odessa becomes smitten with Derek, Tante’s biracial grandson and a college student at Fayetteville State.
Odessa turns sixteen in 1960 right before John F. Kennedy is elected as president. On this pivotal birthday she casts a love spell, gets her first kiss from Derek, and is given a journal she is to us to help her come to terms with her abusive past.
Then there is Roger Rohde, the blond and bronzed pro wrestling champion that Odessa first spots on the cover of a magazine. She develops a crush on the superstar wrestler until she learns he is married and has a young daughter. Still, every time she does any type of magick to test her love interests, she always gets the letter R. All of those reoccurring R’s have her wondering if Derek really is her Mr. Right.