This novel exists because people believe in me. I thank everyone at St.

Martin’s Press for their patience, especially Matthew Shear, Jennifer Enderlin, and my editor, Monique Patterson. I thank my agent, Irene Goodman, for cheering me on when I needed it most. I thank the many readers who said they couldn’t wait for my next book, and, by the way, would it be coming sometime this /century/? Thanks for hanging in there, everybody.

I am honored to have friends and family who continue to walk with me on this journey, especially Steven and my best friend Arleen, along with Gran, Conor, Kathleen, Suzie, Marilyn, Shawn and Cameron, Paul, Kim, Catherine, Liz and John, Matt, and Sean and Diana. I thank the network of people who did something (or a lot) to get me to the settled place I am todayJehanne, Kathy, Lou, Matthew, Pam, Lisa, Ron, Dana, Bernice, Sharon, Sylvia, and Kenmo Trinlay Chodron and my fellow students at the TMC. Last, I thank the various plumbing and heating professionals, concrete and masonry workers, electricians, locksmiths, roofers, cabinet and flooring contractors, and landscapers who have helped me transform my little house into a home. I am abundantly blessed.

This book is a work of fiction. I took liberties with Baltimore street names and geography to suit my story. The town of Persuasion, West Virginia, and its residents exist only in my imagination. Thank you to Madeline Bowman’s parents for placing the winning bid at the 2006 Potomac Classical Youth Ballet Silent Auction, allowing me to use their daughter’s name for a fictional character.


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