Told in two parts, What I Tell You in the Dark is an exploration of how much one is willing to share and the consequences, unforeseen, that public self-discovery may have in the long run. In part one, told as a folktale, a pre-adolescent city boy is shipped off to his Southern relatives for the summer. He gets schooled in the way of "growing up Southern" by his Auntie, his Aunt and his cousin. While there, he learns more about himself than he bargained for and his family, mainly his cousin, leave an indelible mark on him that he takes with him into adulthood. In part two, our protagonist returns to his Auntie's house after the success of a book based on his experience during his first summer. The unexpected passing of his Aunt causes him to confront the memories that have become the basis of his success and the people he included in his retelling of his past.