Transitions begins with a young Maggie Dorsey, a skinny-legged, shy, eleven-year-old, who like so many families come from a divided home. She is part of a siblingship of four brothers and one sister who live in a small, two-bedroom home on Rural Route 1, a dirt road, seven miles from the city limits of White Cloud. The mother is the sole provider and decision-maker. The oldest brother over-sees the siblings' daily list of chores taped to the refrigerator door. Maggie over-hear the aunt and mother talking about ways to bring money into the household. One being welfare and the other picking crops. Many nights she'd pray for her father to return home. After hearing their conversation, she prayed harder. "Oh God, please hear my prayer and bring our daddy back home. I don't want to put my hands into that dark muck dirt, topping no man's onions or picking any god damn cherries. Excuse me God, I mean no cherries." There is a bright spot in her life, her three best friends who do most things together except pick crops and a cousin who visit in the summers.