A year after a devastating experience in Haiti, Nia Freeman has decided to leave Washington, D.C., with the resolve to live life on her own terms and to prepare for the peak oil crisis. She needs to get away from nightmares of earthquakes, evacuations, clogged streets, rowdy mobs, and crumbling buildings.
Nia quits her job and crushes her grandfather's hope that she would join the family business. She moves into her childhood home in Augusta, Georgia, with plans of finding her true self and preparing for a future without oil. She hires her buddy, John Coles, to help renovate the ancestral home so that her grandfather would let her have it. She sets about stockpiling emergency supplies and making the house safe. But her plans take a detour when the attractive Thandi Kapencher, an African history professor, asks for Nia's help to find her brother, Karabo, a young footloose, social activist.
Karabo volunteers at a local group called Freegans for the People that Thandi fears is involved in criminal activities. The group considers themselves to be modern-day Robin Hoods, and they'll stop at nothing to maintain their cover. Thandi feels Nia's background might give her credibility with local charity groups to find out about her brother's whereabouts. Thandi offers a sizeable payment for her time. Nia needs the money for the renovation so she visits the back streets of Augusta getting to know the homeless and Karabo's dubious coworkers. She tries to enlist the help of Karabo's pregnant ex-girlfriend, Lana Harrison, but the young woman is murdered soon after.
Nia realizes that she is caught up in a situation more dangerous than she had anticipated. Her feelings for Thandi and her need to do right propel her to find Karabo, locate Lana Harrison's murderer, and find a sustainable way of life without oil.
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