"Anne Tyler is a magical writer." —Los Angeles Times
Mrs. Emerson, widowed with seven adult children, lives alone in crumbling Victorian mansion outside Baltimore with only a collection of antique clocks to keep her company. Elizabeth Abbott—twenty-three years old, aimless, bohemian, and beautiful—leads a vagabond lifestyle until she happens upon Mrs. Emerson's home and convinces the older woman to hire her as a handyman.
When three of the strange, idiosyncratic Emerson children return to their childhood home for a visit, they are irresistibly drawn to Elizabeth. With wondrous observations and bittersweet humor, Tyler shows how this unsuspecting young woman becomes the North star that helps a stumbling, dysfunctional family find its footing.