People have always fascinated sociologist Perry Warren, yet his most personal relationships--with his wife and young son--are in shambles. Hoping distance will offer answers, Perry has come to South Carolina to start over. Though a researcher by vocation, he has never met the likes of the people here, nor could he have dreamed up the world he is about to enter.
Four women's lives intertwine as they find light in four different ways. Dottie makes her living as a hairdresser, but some days she doesn't want to live. Catherine feels that her life has been one long disappointment. Barb, disorganized and forgetful, wonders how she can ever accomplish anything worthwhile. And then there's Della Boyd--a lost soul in more ways than one.
Elizabeth’s story is like an untended garden, with weeds as bounteous as flowers and stone walkways buried beneath tangled vines. When betrayal strikes, Elizabeth retraces the path of her life and marriage, discovering forgotten memories along the way. Pruning the garden of her life requires a new and painful honesty but offers the promise of mercy.
Julia Rich, PhD in literature, has taught college courses for many years, guiding students into the wide world of words and ideas even as she herself retreats further from life. It takes a high school drop-out to show her the meaning of concepts like joy, faith, and hope. Together, the two of them take a road trip that leads far from home but back again, with minds enlightened and hearts expanded.