Twelve-year-old Jacob Dewitt suffers deeply at the hands of his resentful stepfather. In the midst of family chaos, he's shipped off to boarding school. Years later, when the school expels him, sixteen-year-old Jacob believes he can't go back home. Alone on the streets of Pittsburgh, Jacob lies about his age and assumes a new identity. Intelligent and ambitious, he soon gets recruited by the city's crime organization. Yearning for acceptance, Jacob embraces his new family and street life. He grows up fast. It doesn't take long for the big boss to discover Jacob's talents. Despite his rising status, Jacob yearns for a righteousness the streets can't provide. To fill the void, he attends the local university and uses his gifted knowledge about the Bible to encourage his crew. Word of mouth spreads and miraculous things happen to the people he helps. Unfortunately, Jacob discovers that church and crime are an unholy union. Alternating between the fictional town of Edgeboro, North Carolina in 1976 and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the early 1980's, Jacob must choose between leaving the street family that embraced him and seeking a legitimate life with the family that disowned him.
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