Mary Oliver travels from Washington, D.C. to her hometown, the fictional Elm City, N.C., to spend time with her aunt Maureen in the fall of 1918 with the nation at war and a deadly flu pandemic sweeping the country. Maureen’s troubles, it turns out, are much more immediate. Her cold and cruel husband has reduced her to a quiet and cowering existence and Mary takes it upon herself to save her aunt. Drawing from the example of strong women in the family’s history, and with the help of caring relatives, Mary and Maureen plan their escape.
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