Corrie Holden opens a bookstore in Linden Grove and begins living the dream of her 30-something years—independence and her enthusiasm for books. But the unacknowledged presence of xenophobia and racism in this idyllic Illinois farm town eventually has a devastating effect on the new bookstore.
Soon after the store opens, Corrie meets Breanna Campbell, victim of domestic violence, and Jimmy Kosmatka, the manager of Long Creek Stable, taciturn and rough-edged. Long ago convicted of a victimless felony, Jimmy is in the process of rebuilding his own idealism. Breanna is beginning a journey that will take her from a world of hopeless fantasy to a new life. When the perpetrator of a hate crime turns out to be the last person Corrie would have suspected, she and Jimmy discover the principles of restorative justice—and their love for one another.
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Marydale Stewart is a retired English teacher and librarian. She has a chapbook, Inheritance (Puddin’head Press, Chicago, 2008); two poetry collections, Let the Thunder In (Boxing Day Books, Princeton, IL, 2014) and Risk (Kelsay Books, Hemet, CA, 2017); and two novels, The Wanderers and its sequel Leaves of the Linden Tree, both from Black Rose Writing, Castroville, TX, 2017 and 2018. She has poems in many literary magazines.