Libby is broke with two children after her husband Danny dies in a fatal car crash. She loses her house and moves her with her children to her mother's. For two years she bears the judgmental tone of her mother's voice over everything. She doesn't parent properly, her weight is too much, her attitude is bad, etc. There is nothing she can do to receive approval. When her mother's sister Jean calls Libby she offers a place to stay and a job on her farm in Atwater, Texas pop (12,001). Libby takes her Aunt Jean up on the offer. For the sake of her sanity she starts a new life.
Despite his communication problems and obvious issues with money, Danny wasn't a bad husband. He was attentive as a husband and father, helped with household chores, and afforded Libby the opportunity to be a stay at home mom. Libby, acknowledged during their arguments which usually started with her insecurities over him perhaps, one day leaving her. Her fear of abandonment had everything to do with her mother packing a van and leaving without her young daughter in tow.
Three years after his death in a fatal car accident in which their young daughter Abby was badly injured had been hard.
At five and seven, Abby and her brother Tank have small memories of Danny all scene through pictures. Three hard years later after losing her house and resigning herself to life with her mother it seemed that an upswing was nowhere in sight. Her mother suggests she find a man. As for the children her mother has a ready answer: television. Libby isn't hearing the noise. She reminds her mother that she'd put her faith in men and three marriages after abandoning Libby as a child. She would not do that to Abby and Tank.
Libby's mother is not happy when she shares that she is going to take her aunt up on her offer. The sisters don't' speak. Jean got herself a hippie boyfriend in the 70s and has been living the freestyle life since then. She also inherited a hundred two year old mansion from their mother along with the family farm. Libby's mother is still angry about it.
Libby calls Jean who tells her to come out the very next day. Jean didn't consider that the invitation may have been to simply see the farm. She calls and quits her bank teller job. The one she was forced to get after Danny's untimely death. She has a B. S. in math and had been at home with her kids for many years, the job pickings were slim. She grabs their school records loads the mini van, straps the kids in the back seat and is on her way to Atwater.
Jean's farm is comfy, void of Internet service and television, and full of fresh food, albeit sugars and carbs. The kids adjust as does Libby. Jean isn't just a farmer she's also a licensed therapist and is adored by the towns folk most of whom are her patients.
Her farm manger O'Connor is not well groomed and Libby has to work with him daily. He's good with her kids and kind to her and she starts to wonder what he looks like under all his hair. A bath and a scrub brush might clean him up nicely.
Libby gets a feel for her chores as the kids start school in an unfamiliar place. They do remarkably well without the television. They are getting plenty of fresh air and are outside instead of playing hours of video games and mindless television programming.
Libby finally gives it a shot and sleeps with O'Connor (he cleans up nicely). She isn't sure if they will grow old together or not. For now, she's content that her kids are happy, she's content and her Aunt Jean is simply the best. She's opened her home and heart so that her niece could start her life over.
Best part of story, including ending:
I liked Aunt Jean's openness and her big heart.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene was Libby looking for a non-existent television. She didn't think she could live without it. Aunt Jean wasn't interested in television, there was a farm to tend to and life to live!
Opinion about the main character:
I loved Libby's commitment to Abby and Tank. She was a really good mom.