Two unconventional women build an uneasy alliance that evolves into family.
Left alone after the death of her husband, 70-year-old Edna Harwood feels lonely, angry, and unmoored in Sun City, Arizona, where they had planned to spend their retirement together. She drinks an increasing number of bourbon shots as she struggles to reimagine a life alone while stubbornly ignoring the twinges of pain that tell her something may be terribly wrong inside. Across town in the Papago Trailer Park, Luna McLaren, a young drifter and psychic healer, attempts to make a home with her dog, Tula, advertising her gifts through fliers posted at local health food stores. When the two meet, Luna is drawn to Edna’s need, while Edna firmly resists both Luna’s help and her obvious weirdness. But Luna’s persistent warmth begins to chip away at the ice around Edna’s heart, and, when Luna discovers she is pregnant, the balance of need begins to shift as the two women begin to redefine friendship and family. Powers’ first novel is an engaging, affecting story about social isolation. For Edna, the loneliness begins with a miscarriage and is compounded by widowhood and aging. Luna’s healing gift has always set her apart from others since she was a child, but she retains an open heart, doggedly pursuing those in need of healing. Powers’ writing is understated and evocative, filled with apt descriptions, such as a television psychic who exhibits “the charisma of a wounded healer.” A rushed ending and promising but underused secondary characters, like Edna’s disabled nephew who sings barbershop quartet music, don’t detract much from this satisfying, uplifting read.
An appealing story of human resilience and connection with two memorable female protagonists.