In inner-city New York, horrors lurk in the unruly hallways of Malcolm High School. As in-school riots and gang violence consistently envelop the classroom, Olivia Dalton attempts to teach her students while simultaneously directing a drop-out prevention program that embraces an ever-increasing group of at-risk students. Left with little hope she will ever have children of her own, Olivia becomes entrenched in her students’ lives, partly out of love, but also out of an unconscious desire to avoid her own internal anguish.
Meanwhile, Olivia’s devoted husband, Tom, is having trouble facing his own disappointments in not being able to create a family. In an effort to protect Olivia, he attempts to hold her back from the one place she feels useful and fulfilled—her career. But despite her husband’s efforts to quell her desire to help the troubled and confused, Olivia presses on and believes in change, even in the face of her students’ continual mistakes and poor choices. Neither Tom nor Olivia have any idea that everything is about to change when an unassuming gift is left at their door.
Shades of Gray is the profound story of one woman’s unpredictable journey to the truth, new beginnings, and a kind of love she never knew before.