This contemporary novel takes place in two main settings: on a cruise ship and through flashbacks to the narrator’s fictional West Virginia hometown. The transitions from present to past are well done and help the reader see how a now-wealthy woman came to her current view of the world. It also shows why she has such difficulty handling her present crisis. This well-crafted story, told by an older woman, but filled with interesting characters of all ages from West Virginia and around the world, will appeal to the general fiction reader. However, residents of West Virginia will be particularly fascinated as the narrator’s story unfolds.
Meredith Sue Willis was born and raised in West Virginia and received most of her education in the town of Shinnston. After she spent two years at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, she spent some time as a Volunteer in Service to America in Norfolk, Virginia. After this time, she attended and graduated from Barnard College in New York City. A few years later she earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University. Willis has received many awards and recognition for her writing, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the Literary Award from the West Virginia Library Association. She currently lives in New Jersey with her husband and son.