Young, street-wise, Toronto woman, Strachan, is inexplicably influenced by the life of a vulnerable girl, Celia, whose life in England during World War II is revealed through a series of automatic writings in an attic in a derelict house.
Young Toronto graphic artist Strachan (pronounced 'Strawn' per the Gaelic) Marshall is a loner and could be considered something of a loser. Things change dramatically when she is compelled to check out an attic in an eerie, derelict building, and finds herself feverishly "transcribing" the journal of Celia, a young Englishwoman from decades earlier, who relates her experiences in war-torn Britain. Naturally, practical Strachan refuses to coin the word "ghost". The whole thing is an exciting adventure. When she produces a poignant memoir, which focuses on the apparently doomed affair between Celia, a WAAF (Women's Auxiliary Air Force), and Alex, an RAF serviceman, with detailed descriptions of the era which appear to be as accurate as if Strachan had lived through it herself, people are bound to have questions. Telling the truth would mark Strachan as psychotic, so she lies, saying she did a lot of research. She didn't. Only those closest to her know about The Attic.
When writer Joanna Boden hears about the disappearance of a young woman from her street forty years earlier, it takes over her life. When human remains are found in her own garden, she has to get to the truth and it is unlike anything she could imagine, even on one of her better writing days.
Romance writer Joanna Boden has just published her first novel and the book's moderate success has given her the confidence to leave her 9-5 job to write full-time. With her advance, she has bought her first home - a 1970s city town house, one of twenty-four in the row house development on her street.
Not long after moving in, she discovers that her home, along with the rest of the row-houses, was only possible because of the demolition of a dozen or more fine Edwardian houses which had stood on their own large lots. She is intrigued to learn from the elderly owner of the one surviving original house on the block, Rosalie Campbell, that the project had been passionately protested by many, including Rosalie's own activist daughter, Terry, who disappeared before the development was finished.
Obsessed with Terry's story, Jo's own comfortable life (and her writing) changes dramatically.
And what's going on with Jo's garden and why won't anything grow there?
Summer Must End
Melanie Dwyer has lost her job and her lover just moved out. Over the hill, is she? Buying an old house miles from nowhere, with the idea of running a B&B, might be an impulsive decision, but this is her last chance to prove her true calling: Taking care of people. She discovers it’s not too late for sex, even love. There is violence here, too, but it won’t spoil anything. No one messes with Mel—not now that she’s found herself. Who said country life was boring?
Melanie Dwyer has had a few disappointments to deal with lately—she's lost her corporate job, and her lover of many years just moved out.
Buying an old house, miles from anywhere, with the idea of running a bed and breakfast with a definite 'green' agenda, might be considered a poorly-considered decision, but she is undaunted. Along with the usual country education, she meets some interesting―some might say eccentric―people, with far more going on in their lives than most city folk that Mel knew. Together, they form a new family for her. And she discovers that it's not too late for sex, even love.
But the exception to her new, idyllic life is the brutish lover of one of her new friends. His continuing abuse can't be tolerated, but how to stop it? 'Something should be done about him,' she jokes to David. But she's not a violent person—anyone can see that.
Reflecting on her first eventful year of rural living (who says the country is quiet?), Mel reminds herself that while every summer must end, there is always the distinct promise of an Indian summer and that anything is possible.
It's said that people don't really change. Who came up with that fallacy? Everyone she knew had changed.
Every single one.