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Ruby Lee Gissing (Ashley Judd) is on the run, determined to find something better than the closed rough life in the mountains of East Tennessee. She flees to a place once visited as a child, the “Redneck Riviera” of Panama City Beach. Arriving during the off-season, Ruby finds work in a gift shop owned by Mildred Chambers (Dorothy Lyman). Always on an emotional and economic edge, Ruby begins to keep a journal, “trying to figure out the whys of running off, of coming here.” Ruby’s desire to find