Phillip Carson, Indiana born and raised, is faced with the decision of moving to California in early adolescence for the sake of his mother's health. He follows his parents to the Los Angeles area, where the adventure of his life begins. There he meets Susan Giles, a light in his life during the more innocent time of high school. They become an item, and she returns to his life post-college when he is dealing with three adversaries and his own internal struggles. During the eleventh grade, Phillip also meets retired fireman William Jones. William became a positive influence in other people's lives after suffering a huge loss and trying to make the right decisions going forward. He commits his retirement years to reaching out to inner-city juveniles and later becomes a good friend to Phillip. Phillip learns from William and must later grow in his own faith to complete the challenges set before him. This is a story of the shadows of strife being overcome, and virtue left standing.