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When Susannah Nelson turned eighteen, her parents sent her to school abroad. She said goodbye to her boyfriend, Jake and never saw him again. She never saw her brother again, either, Doug died in a car accident while she was away. Now, at fifty, she finds herself regretting the paths not taken. Especially the chance to be with Jake ... Long married, a mother and a teacher, she should be happy. But she feels there's something missing, although she doesn't know exactly what. Not only that, she's balancing the demands of an aging mother and a temperamental twenty-year-old daughter. Because her mother, Vivian, a recent widow, is having difficulty coping and living alone, Susannah prepares to make some hard decisions. In returning to her hometown of Colville, Washington, to her parents' house, her girlhood friends and the garden she's always loved, she also returns to the past and the choices she made back then.