The Wilder sisters fall in love with men when they least expect it—and most need it. Rose, the older, more practical one, is a widow who lives in New Mexico and has two ungrateful kids, a bored dog, and a horse with a bad back. Lily, the younger, more daring sister, lives in Southern California, where she has put her career before everything else—including love. Lily and Rose flee to their parents' ranch, for some emotional detox. But the two haven't spoken in five long years, and spending time togther is the last thing they'd planned on. Nor had either anticipated being so actively pusued by lovestruck men. Readers will be in their corner all the way as they rediscover the bonds of sisterhood and slowly open their hearts to love.
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The Wilder sisters are as different as two sisters can be. Rose, the elder, passed up college to marry her first love, Philip, and has spent the years raising her kids in the small town of Floralee, New Mexico. Lily, on the other hand, shot right out of college and into the high-powered world of medical sales and the heady thrill of having multiple lovers. But now, as Rose is 40 and Lily is 35, the two share the experience of watching their carefully arranged lives fall apart. Struck by the heartlessness of her job and of her boyfriend, Lily returns home to the family horse ranch for a bit of soul-searching--and finds her sister tackling her own inner demons.
Rose, who's struggling to reestablish herself after the death of her husband, Philip, suddenly finds hope and comfort in a growing friendship with her boss, Austin. Although she falls in love with his inner qualities, Austin remains a depressed, alcoholic mess who pines after his ex-wife. As their relationship evolves, Rose fights to maintain her dignity and preserve her independent identity as Austin shuffles through attempts at sobriety and fidelity. Lily, meanwhile, reunites with her former high school flame Tres but fears this will become yet another meaningless affair.
Understanding that "if you gave up on love, all that was left was money and horses," (and fully appreciating the value of good horseflesh), these two throw themselves after love with equal parts inspiring courage and realistic fear. While the simplicity of Mapson's writing style most often complements the purity of this unadorned plot, the substance of the novel remains the interactions of the two sisters. Readers who enjoy the pleasantly puzzling issues of siblinghood will find the dynamics between these two fascinating. --Nancy R.E. O'BrienAbout the Author:
Jo-Ann Mapson, a third generation Californian, grew up in Fullerton as a middle child with four siblings. She dropped out of college to marry, but later finished a creative writing degree at California State University, Long Beach. Following her son's birth in 1978, Mapson worked an assortment of odd jobs teaching horseback riding, cleaning houses, typing resumes, and working retail. After earning a graduate degree from Vermont College's low residency program, she taught at Orange Coast College for six years before turning to full-time writing in 1996. Mapson is the author of the acclaimed novels Shadow Ranch, Blue Rodeo, Hank Chloe, and Loving Chloe."The land is as much a character as the people," Mapson has said. Whether writing about the stark beauty of a California canyon or the poverty of an Arizona reservation, Mapson's landscapes are imbued with life. Setting her fiction in the Southwest, Mapson writes about a region that she knows well; after growing up in California and living for a time in Arizona and New Mexico, Mapson lives today in Cosa Mesa, California. She attributes her focus on setting to the influence of Wallace Stegner.Like many of her characters, Mapson has ridden horses since she was a child. She owns a 35-year-old Appaloosa and has said that she learned about writing from learning to jump her horse, Tonto. "I realized," she said, "that the same thing that had been wrong with my riding was the same thing that had been wrong with my writing. In riding there is a term called `the moment of suspension,' when you're over the fence, just hanging in the air. I had to give myself up to it, let go, trust the motion. Once I got that right, everything fell into place."
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