by Karlene Kubat
After years of working for a London-based NGO, distributing books and opening schools in impoverished countries, Violea Ender returns, in poor health, to her Oregon roots: a large grain and filbert farm inherited from her widowed mother. She expects to find herself alone there, for the custom farmer and his housekeeper wife are retiring, but gradually finds that her kind mother has left the farm a haven for a few others. These exceptional figures have puzzling connections to the farm, secrets known to her mother but which she must now discover piecemeal. Her startling encounter with another recovering inhabitant bears shocking consequences, which severely tax her highly unstable condition. Out of touch with farming practices and trying to heal herself, she must rely on the imperturbable Norwegian attached to the farm; an independent, knowledgeable, taciturn man, once a giant presence in her unevenly happy childhood. Gradually she reinserts herself in Ender Farm and community life, developing intense and difficult relationships, and very often experiencing setbacks fraught with peril. When her London friend and colleague arrives with her daughter, in the hope of making Violea return to her work, these visitors also become embroiled in the extraordinary life on Ender Farm. At last, one more visitor arrives, with a powerful life-altering influence. Will her profound relationships with the farm and its inhabitants, one especially, prevail over her demanding worldly past?
Copyright Karlene Kubat 2008