When an elusive stranger arrives in 1960s New Rochelle, three generations of women are forever changed.
When the heart finds its home, anything is possible.
Geraldine, Emilia Mae, and Alice Wingo couldn't be more different from each other. Geraldine is a fiery beauty, turning heads while running the local bakery with her devoted husband, Earle-but she never quite takes to motherhood. Her daughter, Emilia Mae, spends her life chasing her mother's affection and goes looking for love in all the wrong places. So when she gives birth to her own daughter, Alice-the girl with the quick laugh and music running through her veins-she vows to do things differently.
Then, Dillard Fox, a handsome stranger with a Southern drawl sails into town, bringing with him a gentle warmth that draws in all three of the Wingo women. Emilia Mae, never thinking she'd find true love, builds the kind of happy life with Dillard that neither of them ever expected. Geraldine slowly learns to be kinder to her difficult daughter, and young Alice may have found the father figure she always wanted. But everyone has their secrets, and the one that Dillard has been carrying all of these years threatens to upend their idyllic family.
Over the course of their lives, these three women navigate their relationships with each other and the changing world around them. Filled with Carter's characteristic wit, this charming, wise novel is a paean to love-any way you can find it.
About the Author
The daughter of German immigrants, Betsy Carter is the author of the novels Swim to Me, The Orange Blossom Special, The Puzzle King, and We Were Strangers Once, as well as her bestselling memoir, Nothing to Fall Back On. She is also the creator and editor of NewYork Woman Magazine, and has worked at many other magazines, including Newsweek, Harper's Bazaar, and Esquire.
"Carter crafts an endearing, sweeping saga of strangers brought together...The story comes alive through the honesty and raw emotion injected into the characters. Her unflinching look at the characters' imperfections and boundless exploration into their minds makes for an exceptional tale."—Publishers Weekly, -
"A sweeping intergenerational story of the intertwined lives of two people who find themselves staying briefly at the Neptune Inn in New Rochelle, New York... A bittersweet tale that follows the twists and turns of love and loss and the painfulness and joy of life."—Kirkus, -
"One can't help fall in love with each character, mourn each loss, cheer their triumphs, and maybe shed a tear or two."—Library Journal, -
Praise for WE WERE STRANGERS ONCE
"A moving story of loss, longing, and perseverance."—Real Simple, A Best New September Release
"In this sharply observed historical novel, a web of friendships connect German Jews in pre-Hitler Germany after they emigrate to America. In their complex relationships and struggles both emotional and cultural, we are given insight into life at its most resilient and joyous. An important book to remind us of the humanity in the current wave of immigrants, and how much they have to offer us."—Alice LaPlante, New York Times bestselling author of Turn of Mind