When Ruth Ritchie’s marriage falls apart, she flees Tennessee and ends up in the fictional eastern North Carolina town of Lawsonville. (There is a real Lawsonville in Stokes County near the Virginia border, but this is clearly not the one that Landis describes). Ruth, who has just turned twenty, is having a hard time getting by until she meets eighty-year-old Rose. Rose helps Ruth get a job at the local paper and the two become fast friends. Although Rose is facing lung cancer she is still feisty, and sees something of her younger self in Ruth. The two women throw themselves into the Lawsonville scene, engaging the oddball local characters and living life to the fullest.
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