Henrietta Cochran has spent nearly forty years dealing with the effects of the polio she contracted in 1945. Her braces and crutches restrict her, define her, but they also give her independence. Almost. She hates that she has become increasingly reliant on a series of live-in companions to help her. For some reason, the companions never seem to want to stay very long. So Henrietta retreats further and further into her art, where her physical limitations don’t matter.
Into her life sails Meryn Fleming: out, outspoken, and fiercely political. She’s young, enthusiastically diving into her first job as a history professor at the local college. When she falls, almost literally, into Henrietta’s path, she seems like a godsend.
Little does Henrietta know that this young woman is about to upend her carefully structured existence. Ryn challenges everything, barging right through the walls Henrietta has built to keep others at a distance.
To Ryn, Henrietta is an enigma: prickly and easily insulted at the slightest suggestion that she can’t do things for herself; a brilliant artist capable of producing the most beautiful paintings; and sometimes, when Henrietta doesn’t realize she’s letting her guard down, a tender and sensitive woman.
With Meryn’s youthful optimism pitted against Henrietta’s jaded acceptance of the world as it is, life will never be the same for either of them.
|Publisher:||Caren J. Werlinger|
|File size:||507 KB|
About the Author
Bestselling author Caren Werlinger published her first award-winning novel, Looking Through Windows, in 2008. Since then, she has published fourteen more novels, winning several more awards. Influenced by a diverse array of authors, including Rumer Godden, J.R.R. Tolkein, Ursula LeGuin, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Willa Cather and the Brontë sisters, Caren writes literary fiction that features the struggles and joys of characters readers can identify with. Her stories cover a wide range of genres: historical fiction, contemporary drama, and fantasy, including the award-winning Dragonmage Saga, a fantasy trilogy set in ancient Ireland. She has lived in Virginia for nearly thirty years where she practices physical therapy, teaches anatomy and lives with her wife and their canine fur-children.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Meryn "Ryn" Fleming, twenty three years of age and a professor of History at St. Aloysius College, a small school in "the middle-of-nowhere", New York. Henrietta Cochran, fifty three, an artist of renown in the college town where Ryn teaches. Henrietta was stricken with polio when she was a teenager. The story takes place in the 1980s when being accepted for being LGBTQ was in its infancy. Henrietta needs a live-in companion, someone to help her with meals and cleaning in her home. Ryn needs a place to live. Ideal! There is nothing not to love about this book. Nothing. Everything about it is flawless. The story rolls out smoothly. The peripheral characters were all perfect, too. I got into the story right away and although I didn't want to put it down, I also didn't want it to end, so I read a page or two, stopped and did something else and then came back to it. During the 1940s Henrietta met Una when both girls were teenagers. Their love blossomed, but back in those days, their love was so taboo that they kept it hidden. This was during the time when polio ran rampant in the country. Both girls contracted it after swimming in a lake. The girls were separated because of their illness, but what happened to Una? And what will happen to Henrietta, who starts to have feelings for Ryn, who is thirty years her junior, healthy, young and vital? How can this possibly work? To say this is merely an age-gap story is to not do it justice. This is a sensitive, loving look at two women who clearly see the obstacles and make decisions for themselves. There are books like this that, when you've finished it, you don't believe you'll be able to find the next book to read that will measure up. I really loved this book!