The first step to letting go of the past is forgiving it . Every day of her life Julia Rich lives with the memory of a horrible accident she caused long ago. In the years since, she has tried to hide her guilt in the quiet routine of teaching at a small South Carolina college, avoiding close relationships with family and would-be friends. But one day a phone call from Carmen, a niece she has never met, disrupts her carefully controlled world. Carmen is a study in contrasts-comical yet wise, sunny yet contemplative, soft yet assertive. As she sets about gently drawing Julia from her self-imposed solitude into a place of hope, she also seeks her own peace for past mistakes. Together, the two women embark on a journey that takes Julia far from the familiar comfort of home and gives Carmen the courage to open her heart. Together, their sightseeing trip turns into a discovery of truth, grace, redemption, and, finally, love .