These are stories in which women are central. They are about lovers found and lovers lost but lodged still in the subconscious, about secrets that change lives, about people whose histories are opening out or coming to an end. Their power accumulates layer by layer as time and reality shift, identities become uncertain, truths surface. A heart patient on a trip to her doctor on a hot summer's day has a revelation about the lasting power of an old love. A long-hidden secret sticks in the consciousness of a young woman, who, in an outrageous but entirely satisfying act, finally rids herself of its thrall. A romantic tale of capture and escape in the wilds of central Europe may or may not be true, but it comforts the hearer who, on an adventure of her own, is fleeing her hushand. Two childhood friends resolve their lives in a madcap and unexpected way on a memorable midsummer's eve. A pioneer woman homesteading in the Canadian wilderness with her new husband and his brother devises a...

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