They've been friends since their college days—Shotsie, Bess, and Claire—and the twenty years since have gotten them husbands, children, mortgages, assorted body patches, one handgun, a hysterectomy, and lots of neuroses. Still, at least once a year they again have one another. And Ian. This year, in this affecting, sly, bittersweet novel, they are gathering along with their husbands at Dune Ridge on the coast of North Carolina near the close of summer. Only this year their circle is incomplete. Because Ian?wildly irresponsible Ian, "the enigma" Ian?does not show. His young, new wife does, however, and no matter what romance Ian may have shared with Shotsie, Bess, and Claire in the past, it's the dewily beautiful Nina who is bearing his child. For sure, a hurricane is heading menacingly their way, and neither friendship nor memory, any more than a creaky seaside cottage, can grant them safe harbor. In old stories new truths unfold.