Five challenging years have passed in the lives of the ladies of Bad Girl Creek. Beryl, Nance, Ness, and Phoebe have experienced their share of hardship and heartache, but also much happiness. Beryl now lives with Earl in Alaska, where the fissures in their relationship have started to spread. When Earl disappears one wintry night, some dark and desperate memories surface, forcing Beryl to take inventory and withdraw from her friends while she works things out. Nance, on the heels of a string of devastating miscarriages, has been advised to stop trying for a baby. Phoebe finds herself overwhelmed by her own daughter, Sally, who is five-years-old-going-on-thirty; meanwhile she is being romanced by an enigmatic Southern charmer named Andrew. And Ness tenderly nurses David Snow as he gradually succumbs to AIDS. The farm's successes have brought profits, but when a nursery opens across the road, the bar is set higher yet again. As Beryl wonders at Earl's fate, she is isolated by more than geography. Even as her friends in California are wondering what happened to Beryl, Beryl wonders the very same thing. But life rolls on, and in the midst of myriad misfortunes come explosive surprises. The old friends are challenged to reunite once again, to rediscover with fresh eyes the powerful words in Aunt Sadie's journal: Live life to the fullest. Love as often as you can. Regret nothing. Eat hearty. Laugh often. Plant flowers. And don't forget to dance.
by Jo-Ann Mapson
by Robert Louis Stevenson
by Arthur Machen
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