Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to "aging out" out of the foster care system. A community-service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse.... As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.
"Moving story of sharing and transformation."
To Christina Olson, the entire world was her family's remote farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. Born in the home her family had lived in for generations, and increasingly incapacitated by illness, Christina seemed destined for a small life. Instead, for more than 20 years, she was host to and inspiration for the artist Andrew Wyeth and became the subject of one of the best known American paintings of the 20th century.
Cassie Simon is a struggling artist living in New York City. When she receives a call from a magistrate telling her she has inherited 60 acres of land in Sweetwater, Tennessee, from her grandfather, whom she never knew, she takes it as a sign: it's time for a change. She moves to the small Southern town where her mother, Ellen, grew up - and where she died tragically when Cassie was three.
Angela can feel the clock ticking. She is single in New York City, stuck in a job she doesn't want and a life that seems to have somehow just happened. She inherited a flair for Italian cooking from her grandmother, but she never seems to have the time for it - these days, her oven holds only sweaters. Tacked to her office bulletin board is a photo from a magazine of a tidy cottage on the coast of Maine - a charming reminder of a life that could be hers if she could only muster the courage to go after it.
It was an accident. It was dark, it was raining, Alison had only had two drinks. And the other car ran the stop sign. But Alison finds herself trapped under the crushing weight of grief and guilt, feeling increasingly estranged from her husband, Charlie, who has his own burdens. He's in a job he doesn't love so that Alison can stay at home with the kids (and why isn't she more grateful for that?); he has a house in the suburbs and a long commute to and from the city.
"Wordy, Contemplative, Sad"
On the night of her high school graduation, Kathryn Campbell sits around a bonfire with her four closest friends, including the beautiful but erratic Jennifer. "I'll be fine," Jennifer says as she walks away from the dying embers and toward the darkness of the woods. She never comes back.
"Promising beginning, fizzled out at the end"
New York, 1929: Mit neun Jahren verliert Vivian Daly, Tochter irischer Einwanderer, bei einem Wohnungsbrand ihre gesamte Familie. Gemeinsam mit anderen Waisenkindern wird sie kurzerhand in einen Zug verfrachtet und in den Mittleren Westen geschickt, wo die Kinder auf dem Land ein neues Zuhause finden sollen. Doch nur die wenigsten erwartet ein liebevolles Heim. Stattdessen müssen sie als billige Landarbeiter, Haushaltshilfen oder Näherinnen harte Knochenarbeit leisten.