Ever since their first communication, written on a wad of paper he threw at her in the fourth grade, Joe Anton has loved Lucy Hawthorne. Though she feels the same, she is forced to end the relationship in college due to his alcoholism and unfounded jealousy. For the next two decades, he cannot bring himself to marry, despite his loneliness, because Lucy set the bar too high.
Now forty-two, Joe returns to his hometown in Michigan to see her with every intention of finally finding a way to let go. He is surprised to find that not only has their bond survived twenty-one years of separation, but the winsome and funny Lucy is now a widow. He struggles to decide whether he can risk rejection again to pursue a reunion with the only woman he has ever loved.
Lucy’s heart tells her that the former rebel has overcome his addiction and matured. However, as they revive their friendly battle of wits and explore their new yet familiar relationship, a deceitful act convinces Joe that she is simply toying with his emotions. He severs his ties with Lucy, and she has no choice but to watch helplessly as a physical and emotional rift develops between them that seems too wide to bridge.
Set primarily in the wilderness of Upper Michigan on the shore of Lake Superior, the story takes place in today’s world but harks back to an era when love lasted a lifetime. It also affirms that the heady experience of loving and being loved is not only for the very young.