Since finishing his seminary training in Atlanta, Jake Buchanan has done everything in his power to avoid returning home to Grady County. He lingers in the city, counseling homeless men at the seminary's mission. When the suicide of a vagrant he was counseling shakes his faith, his mentor re-assigns him to a church in Blooming Tree, near his hometown of Lucy's Cotton, believing that returning home will help Jake heal.
Blooming Tree is the last place on earth Jake thinks will help him. The town's infamy lies in a beloved minister's mysterious death and in Maggie Baker, the rumored murderess who still lives in town.
Jake only spends one month of 1938 as Blooming Tree's minister, but during that month, the enigmatic Miss Baker both courts and challenges him. Their interaction stirs up memories of that long-ago murder and forces him to confront both his relationship with Thaddea and the nightmares that have haunted him since the death of parents and sister.
Thaddea, the childhood sweetheart he lost when he moved to Atlanta seven years before, now lives in Blooming Tree with her husband and son. Jake clings to his skewed memories of her, despite learning of the woman she's become.
Through his evolving relationships with both women, Jake discovers the truth is not always as it seems, both in the past and in the present and he accepts himself and his past by opening himself to a hopeful future.
There's only one minister in Blooming Tree?? (you said "Blooming Tree's miniser").
This is clunky as a pair of ice skates on pavement. "The town's infamy lies in" and "skewed memories" are just two.
I'm not sure what the plot is here and I'm not all that enthused about finding out cause you haven't given me much reason to like this guy or wonder what happens next.
Start over. Focus on specifics.