We think about it every day, sometimes every hour: money. Who has it. Who doesn't. How you get it. How you don't. Bender uses this very powerful force to pull together a unified collection of stories that deeply explore the ways in which money and the subsequent estimation of value affect the lives of her characters.
Moving stories about married couples' powerful and complicated loves, read by actors Frances Sternhagen, Robert Sean Leonard, Keir Dullea, Joanna Gleason, Harold Gould and Joanne Woodward. A native couple's rocky college love affair lasts a lifetime in Do You Know Where I Am by Sherman Alexie. In Karen E. Bender's Eternal Love, a mother nervously chaperones her retarded daughter's honeymoon.
Moving deftly between present and past, the novel follows Lena's day-long escape from her residential home with her troubled 12-year-old niece. While this odd couple takes refuge on a honky-tonk southern California beach, Lena's widowed mother, Ella, goes in search of them. In the process, Ella relives her own life's dreams and disappointments: her marriage to a sweet, loving shoe salesman; her discovery of Lena's handicap and her aching attempts to give her daughter a "normal" childhood.
A Town of Empty Rooms presents the story of Serena and Dan Shine, estranged from one another as they separately grieve over the recent loss of Serena's father and Dan's older brother. Serena's actions cause the couple and their two small children to be banished from New York City, and they settle in the only town that will offer Dan employment: Waring, North Carolina.