Waking to the chill of a snow-cloaked morning, carpenter James Jack Wright finds ninety-four-year-old Marguerite Deo lying dead in the woods outside his cabin. As he confronts the mystery of her death - why would Marguerite, his "Tante" since his infancy, walk out into the cold winter night? - an unexpected tale unfolds, moving from the present back to James Jack's childhood, to New Orleans during the Depression and World War II, and finally to a windswept New England island at that turn of the century. At the heart of the story are a forbidden love, a violent crime kept secret for years, and above all, Marguerite's relationship with a little boy named James Jack, a bond that deepens after a terrible accident changes both their lives forever.
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