Early on in the novel which is just before her professor husband suddenly dies -- Vestalinda says ""Marriage is a long conversation."" If you're on such good speaking terms with your husband, you certainly won't have time for a book like this -- lady bountiful women's fiction on the order of say Ellen Bromfield Gelb but with a Southern setting which means more landscaping of ""old-fashioned forever-flowers."" Well to get down to the plot which isn't much -- after Vestalinda's husband dies, she returns to their campus to teach art, to become involved with student unrest (""Why should they respect our hypocrisies?"") and particularly with a young black or rather brown (he's ""mahogany"" not ""ebony"") called Jimmie who teaches her all about ""Learnin' to let it go."" For mature, womanly, garden club readers who may enjoy all the phlox but then they might not like that other color scheme or the rather determinedly Modern middle-aged sex.