Fool’s gold or the real thing? An out-of-place snowflake in San Diego beckons Ariel Dixon home to Alaska. She follows its lure, despite her fiancé's strong objections. After twelve long years in which Ariel believes a beloved childhood friend dead, Jean Thoreau keeps a boyhood promise and returns. Ariel stands at a crossroads. Emmet Carey represents wealth and social position. French-Canadian Jean offers the life Ariel and her uncrowned salmon king father know and love: fighting the elements with a swaying deck beneath their feet and Big Tom Dixon bellowing fishermen’s songs one moment and offering prayers the next. Three men, peppery Aunt Rebekah, and all the folks in Ketchikan wait for Ariel’s decision. But first, there is a "winterlude," with or without Emmet.
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