The story begins . . . In the Whipple family's dictionary definition of love, each entry has a link to the tantalizing, mysterious, dangerous, intriguing Dexter Walton:
To Fayleen, love means harboring a forbidden secret, despite every obstacle, because love is powerful enough to conquer every foe.
To R'Lou, love means carrying a burden alone because to do otherwise means betrayal, separation, and grief.
To John, love means tenacity when it would be easier to let go because tough love is all that can save his family.
To Letty, love means being a fortress for her daughters and husband who do battle over such divergent views of love.
To Cory, love means a Dad, and not necessarily a Dad who matches everyone else's descriptions.
And what about Dexter Walton? To him, love is a long-time coming, but definitely worth the wait because love is everything worth living for.
The story continues . . . They met when they were both in diapers. Cory Whipple was the "boy next door" who became the love of six-year-old Bibs Johnson's life when he proposed. She accepted, and they never changed their minds.
Then came The Sixties.
Cory, having been raised by two maiden aunts to think independently, balked when his country demanded actions and attitudes of him that he could not give. Bibs supported his radical decision and that's when things got shaky.
Bibs' father was part of The Greatest Generation—proud to do what he deemed his duty. Ed Johnson saw Cory in an entirely different light than his daughter did. A fault line formed between father and daughter, a fissure so deep Bibs wondered if it could ever be spanned, even by an engineer like Cory who specialized in building bridges.
The story concludes . . . Laurel McPherson, a 56-year-old widow, discovers surprises in Little River, California, when she accepts an invitation from Nancy, a childhood friend. Still grieving the loss of her husband, Bennett, and harboring a three-decade heartache over the death of a child, she finds a compassionate friend in Cory Whipple, a civil engineer who understands her pain.
That friendship smoothes out many rough places, but Laurel soon finds herself caught in the tumult until she can hardly hear her own heart's voice in the prevailing winds of diverse opinions and heart-wrenching emotions.