After losing her husband, Janet Porter’s life in the wooded heights of Oregon's Willamette Valley has begun to settle down.
Everything changes when her son Nate calls from Iraq with unsettling news. Returning home on a medical discharge, Nate doesn't want the accolades or service medals he's offered; he wants to be left alone.
Desperate for help, Janet confides in Andy McNamara: a war veteran who volunteers at the local V.A. clinic.
It soon becomes clear that Nate's wounds go far deeper than his torn-up leg. As a freak tornado touches down in the Willamette Valley, they're all thrown into a new world – a world of starting over.
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Janet drove her Highlander alongside the shops and eateries of Lincoln City’s Harbor Boulevard. The road running through town was quiet this time of year. The tourists had left, leaving the hardy coastal residents behind to hunker down for the approaching winter. Heading toward Fogarty, she glanced at the blue marble urn on the passenger seat. This year’s pilgrimage to the beach where so much of her past had been defined marked yet another turning point in her life.
Her beloved husband, Neil, would be joining her father, their ashes comingling on the beach she loved. But as far as she was concerned, it was too soon. It was hard to believe he’d been gone almost a whole year. She thought about his last days at Hazelnut before his body gave up and finally quit. It had been a long haul for them the last two months before he passed, and she’d been there for all of it, standing beside his bed, holding his hand, whispering how beautiful he was. But that was the price she’d paid for marrying a man twenty-five years older than her.
“Someday we’ll be back together again,” she muttered, because, yes, she’d come to believe there was something beyond this mortal life even though she didn’t know what it was. All she knew was that he believed it, and that was all that mattered.
She came to a stoplight. Closed her eyes.
And then there was Megan.