On the South Side of Chicago, Glory Bishop lives in pieces. At work and with her friends, she devours fiction, is bold and outspoken, and sneaks away to enjoy slow dances and stolen kisses with her secret boyfriend, JT. But at home, Glory follows strict rules and second-guesses every step. Though she dreams of going to college and living like a normal teenage girl, her abusive mother has other ideas.
When JT leaves to join the navy, Glory is left alone and heartsick. When the preacher’s son, Malcolm Porter, begins to shower her with lavish gifts, her mother pushes Glory to accept his advances and Glory is torn between waiting for true love with JT or giving in to the overzealous Malcolm.
When a stranger attacks Glory on the street, Malcolm steps in to rescue her, and her interest in him deepens. But the closer she gets to him, the more controlling he becomes. Glory must eventually decide whether to rely on others or to be her own savior.