In the latest novel from the award-winning author of Around Again, an American takes an unexpected trip to Ireland and finds the woman she was meant to become.
Newly unemployed, Sophie White has nothing better to do when her recently widowed best friend, Gina, invites her along on a much-needed, postcrisis getaway. When, after only one day in Ireland, Gina decides she should do her grieving back at home, she urges Sophie to remain and make the most of the summer in Booley, the tiny seaside village that was their destination. A job offer accepted on a whim lands her in the village's craft shop, and in the position once held by Finola O'Flynn, a woman who'd swiftly left town a few years before. Sophie takes on Finola's job of creating beaded bracelets, but also takes over Finola's abandoned home, then Finola's left-behind wardrobe, and finally, after her own episode of lost love, Finola's discarded man, charismatic shop owner Liam. But could Sophie -- or anyone -- ever take over the legendary place that her predecessor still holds in the hearts of Booley? Friend, confidante, and guru to all -- literally a lifesaver to some -- even in her absence Finola continues to captivate. Her myth manages to reenergize Sophie, who passes along the gift through bracelets she infuses with invented "powers" that make the wearers believe they have what it takes to face life's challenges. But is Sophie powerful enough to face a whopper of her own when Finola returns to Booley and to the life she deserted? Does Sophie have the magic to make room in one tiny village for two women who want the very same life?
Suzanne Strempek Shea, winner of the 2000 New England Book Award for Fiction, is the author of the novels Selling the Lite of Heaven; Hoopi Shoopi Donna; Lily of the Valley; and Around Again; and the memoirs Songs from a Lead-Lined Room: Notes -- High and Low -- From My Journey Through Breast Cancer and Radiation; and Shelf Life: Romance, Mystery, Drama, and Other Page-Turning Adventures from a Year in a Bookstore. She lives in Bondsville, Massachusetts.
Publisher: Washington Square Press (June 15, 2004)