Story begins with Janalou boarding a bus in Spartanburg, SC. She meets seven people and they form a friendship and stay together after they transfer to a different bus. That evening Janalou has an attack of appendicitis and is rushed to the hospital, then ends up traveling by car across the country with Kree to give her body and her facial bruises time to heal before she meets his family and starts to work with them.
When Janalou discovers her father/papa and stepmother have been arrested for her murder (even though no body was found--there was blood in the house), she feels compelled to return to Spartanburg. The next day at the court house she meets her real family, including her identical twin, and discovers she was kidnapped when she was four. Her twin tells/reminds her that for their last Christmas together they were given twin dolls, and dresses in their own size to match the dolls.