An Accidental Woman: A Novel
Simon & Schuster
Publication date: July 2002
Digital Book format: ePub (Adobe DRM)
New York Times bestselling author Barbara Delinsky returns to the town of Lake Henry, New Hampshire, scene of her beloved earlier novel Lake News, with an unforgettable story that explores the ways in which we limit our own chances for happiness -- and the accidents of fate that can set us free. Heather Malone has made her home in Lake Henry for the last fourteen years. Known for her kind, gentle nature, she lives with Micah Smith, a widower, and his two young daughters. When the FBI takes her into custody on charges of flight to avoid prosecution, purportedly for a murder that took place in California, the local reaction is stunned disbelief. Yet, when those closest to her, including Micah, think back over the time they have known her, they realize that they have learned virtually nothing about her earlier life. Poppy Blake is Heather's closest friend. A lifelong resident of Lake Henry, Poppy is confined to a wheelchair, the result of a snowmobile accident nearly a dozen years prior that left her a paraplegic and killed her male companion. Since then, she has worked hard to rebuild her life. Currently, she runs a local telephone messaging service out of her specially equipped house on Lake Henry. Fiercely independent, Poppy refuses to let her physical limitations break her spirit. However, it is her guilt over past mistakes, more than her present disability, which is holding her back from pursuing a future that includes a husband and family. Writer Griffin Hughes originally traveled to Lake Henry to investigate a national news story involving Lily Blake, Poppy's older sister. What keeps him coming back is his attraction to Poppy. However, a chance comment made to his brother, an FBI agent, provides the thread that leads the law to Heather. To redeem himself, Griffin is compelled to solve the mystery of Heather's past. Along the way, he becomes key to freeing Poppy from her own past and helping her see the possibilities of a richer future. Setting her story against the backdrop of a picturesque New England town during the maple syrup harvesting season, when the harshness of winter yields to the sweet promise of spring, and when the whole town is involved in the race to process the sap before the thaw sets in, Barbara Delinsky has written a tightly knit and compelling story that celebrates the values of community, friendship, and the redemptive power of love.