Ruth Lambert left Snow Island when she was a teenager, but returns in the fall of 1990 after her aunt's death, when she and her sister inherit the aging Snow Inn. Nick McGarrell, a Vietnam veteran, has retreated to his island birthplace to work as a carpenter. Nora Venable, owner of the island's abandoned mansion, moves into the caretaker's cottage on a whim. From the confines of their small New England community, the trio watch as the United States prepares to go to war once again. When the mansion burns down one night, the lives of Nora, Nick and Ruth unexpectedly intersect, tearing them from their private but determined battles with the past and propelling them into an unknown future of loss, love, and redemption. Towler rounds out this wonderful regional trilogy with masterful depictions of resilient small communities and their inhabitantswho live isolated and simple lives in the face of an increasingly metropolitan twentieth-century America.