In the prologue to the book Dolly, who owns a boarding house in Alabama, writes a letter to her sister telling her how much she misses her and sets the stage for what promises to be a whole lot of Southern charm, family, loss, and recovery in a small town during WWII.
The story opens with the arrival of a couple at a boarding house in Alabama, which is run by the very Southern charming woman Dolly. The arrival of the Williams' who have left Illinois to retreat from the failure of the family farm. Dolly uses their settling into the home by telling them who occupies each room. It's quite the cast of characters, including the not-so-nice Clanahans'. You just know that something is going to come of their nastiness.
The initial introduction to the novel leads one to believe that at some point in the book the definition of family goes beyond blood relatives and that the foreshadowed traumatic event will have a major impact on the boarding house "family."
Ms. Leusse's writing style is easy-going and seems to be very character-oriented. I'm hoping to be able to finish this book as it does grab you from the start.