Sometimes, fate just has it out for you. Shirley Cox has beaten the odds to create a successful career in the insurance industry. She and her fifteen-year-old son, Trumain, are living a comfortable life filled with promise. Shirley is proud of her son—a bright, hardworking, and ambitious young man who has earned his place on the honor roll. But in a heartbeat, everything changes. Shirley loses her job, and the family is forced to move to Clifton Heights, a crime-ridden, drug-infested part of town, where neither belongs.
Trumain, struggling to find his way in this new world, begins to make decisions that worry his mother. When he befriends a star athlete named Lark, a boy who is banking on his brawn as his ticket to a new life, Shirley is concerned. The friendship eventually leads Trumain to make life-threatening decisions about the relationship with Lark. Incapable of controlling his temper, Lark is thrown off the basketball team for fighting, and the new best friends must depend on one another for support. Unable to rise above the conditions in his environment, Lark becomes a part of the drug culture he hates. Meanwhile, Trumain fights for his friend and is soon tested in order to survive conditions they both feel powerless to control.
Hard Ground examines the impossible choices people make to survive and how friendship can be the most powerful weapon against despair and fate.