In Kira's society, people with handicaps are not allowed to stay in the village. They are banished to "another" place. Kira has a deformed leg. She was not sacrificed at birth because of this deformity since her mother was the only one with skills at dyeing and weaving patterns. Her mother pleaded for her daughter's life, and the child was allowed to live. Kira's mother taught her the trade of dyeing threads, a trade no one else in the village had. At her mother's death, Kira is taken in by the Committee to live in a community "home" to practice the skills that only she knows. Other orphans are there to nurture their specific skills as well. Kira discovers not all is as it should be in her village, and she hopes to change the ways of her people by using those youngster's special talents to subtly make those changes. The oppressive ways of the Committee could be undermined by using those special talents to teach change to the everyday, ordinary ways of her people.