July 1974, Cumberland, GA. In the fictional coastal town of Cumberland, Georgia, fifteen-year-old twin sisters Ansel and Isabel Mackenzie have lived with their eccentric grandmother since a car accident killed their parents and paralyzed Isabel. Over the past seven years the responsibility of caring for her sister has fallen increasingly on Ansel. However, as she cultivates a romantic relationship with a local boy, as well as an artistic apprenticeship with a visiting photographer, Ansel’s growing desire for independence compromises her ability to care for her sister, threatening their sororal connection, and ultimately, Isabel’s life. Juxtaposing Ansel’s traditional narrative against Isabel’s poetic prose, Cumberland highlights the conflicts between independence and familial duty, the difficulty of balancing the dark draws of the body against the brighter focus of the mind.