This classic tale is the inspiration behind the beloved Christmas film of the same name starring Cary Grant and Loretta Young. Bishop Henry Brougham desperately wants to build a great cathedral for his overcrowded parish. The problem is he doesn't know how he will find a capable archdeacon to help fund the project. But that's not his only problem. Though his beautiful wife Julia fulfills her marital duties, there is no passion between them.
Eben Adams is a young painter in Depression-era New York just looking to make a living. His work has thus far left influential art dealers unimpressed. Then Eben happens upon a young schoolgirl named Jennie in Central Park. Intrigued by her mystical quality and her knowledge of things that happened well before her time, Eben begins to sketch a portrait of the young girl. The drawing turns out to be the most emotional piece Eben has ever done, and he finally gets the boost in his career he's been seeking. But before he can finish the portrait, Jennie vanishes.
"I loved the story. "
Minerva Parkinson has just received distressing news: she's dying. Though she and her husband Henry have been married for many years, their marriage has grown listless, and she therefore chooses to keep her dire prognosis to herself. With the hopes of leaving Henry with fond memories of her, she buys a houseboat to fulfill his dream of a riverboat trip, and they set off down the Missouri River. Things are looking good until they meet two strangers, a young woman named Nora and a mysterious man named Mr. Mortimer, who possesses knowledge beyond the worldly realm.
Michael Robb, a young journalist and aspiring author, has just landed a dream assignment: interviewing the renowned but reclusive author Edward Granville. The famous writer and his devoted wife, Virginia, have for many years lived in isolation on the Pacific Coast at their hilltop retreat, Stonecliff. Not long after Michael's arrival, strange things begin to happen.Granville's wife disappears, and Michael meets Nina, an unforgettably beautiful, unearthly young woman who by all appearances is Granville's mistress.
A train bound for a mysterious destination stops in the middle of a meadow. As the hours pass and the cause of the delay remains unknown, we meet the various passengers. There is a priest, a former president, a lonely waitress, an elderly couple, and a young orphan boy, each pondering the significance of the journey thrust upon them and what awaits them at their destination. Will they find order? Loneliness? Love?
History professor Robert Whittle believes the world is about to end, though his devoted wife Amanda and young daughter Lucinda don't share his opinion. Consumed by his depressing prophecy, Mr. Whittle is suddenly distracted by the alarmingly beautiful Penelope Andrews. Penelope enjoys the affections of her boyfriend, fellow student Marvin Greene, but it's apparent that Marvin is growing restless and contemplating other conquests. One evening the Whittles decide to entertain their good friends the Blaneys....
Nathan Thompson is a researcher at the Igarapé Institute in Rio de Janeiro. Robert Muggah is Research Director at the Igarapé Institute in Rio de Janeiro and Research and Policy Director of the SecDev Foundation in Ottawa. After years of shoring up security alliances in Latin America and the Caribbean, Brazil is now looking eastward, asserting its influence across the Atlantic Ocean.