Iron Branch explores cultural conflicts of the American Civil War era as experienced by those not often elevated to lead roles. Abita Carter, a half-Choctaw woman who describes herself as always “in-between,” tells the story of her life and that of the young lawyer/soldier, Minor Barrett, in north Louisiana during the Civil War. The core of the tale involves Abita’s journey to find Minor, who is reported to have been wounded during the siege of Vicksburg. Along the way she faces a cast of characters with varying intentions. General Grant’s wife, a family of slaves with compassion beyond reason, and a small blind mule are among those encountered in the rich, Deep South setting. None, though, is more distracting than Minor’s blue-blooded wife, who seeks her husband for a different purpose. Abita’s state of “in-between” takes on new meanings as she is drawn ever deeper into the turmoil of the times. Passion, self-doubt, and malice finally threaten her existence in any condition.