Maggie Rose and Sass explores the differences between two races and the culture of the times. The novel is set in 1888 in a fictional town based on Nicodemus, Kansas, a town settled ten years earlier by ex-slaves from Kentucky. Life in Georgia with an ugly-tempered, racist grandmother has not prepared the orphaned Maggie Rose for Solomon Town whose citizens are almost all black. Sass has lived all her life in Solomon Town, the daughter of an ex-slave mother and a free-born, educated, mixed-race father. Raised in such totally different cultures, the two girls are bound to clash.