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For a long time, Claire and Tom Templeton have wished in vain for a child. What they have instead is a house, a charming old Cape that is their consolation. In the gray chill of a Massachusetts autumn, the Templetons and two local handymen, loners and eccentrics, work to rebuild the ramshackle home. As the house takes on a new life, Claire begins to understand its tangled history -- and to reconcile her own past and renew her hope for the future.