There is a haunting and beautiful rhythm to Smith's storytelling that paints beautiful pictures and characters. Her evocative stories wrap themselves around you emotionally, delivering joy and sorrow. Told from the perspective of both hero and heroine, this novel charts their damaged emotional states and rings amazingly true. Truly a great treasure, Smith's wisdom and emotional resonance are astounding.

Beautiful actress Cathryn Deen seemed to have it all: money, fame, fortune and a handsome husband. Then in one second it all changes: Cathryn is horribly burned in a car crash. Thomas Mitternich, a world-class expert on guilt and loss, has been on a downward spiral since losing his wife and son in the World Trade Center on 9/11.

By chance, Thomas has been holed up in aptly named Crossroads, N.C., and, despite himself, has become friends with the ebullient Delta Whittlespoon, who runs the Crossroads Cafe. When Delta learns about the plight of Cathryn, a distant cousin, she manipulates Thomas into helping her contact Cathryn with an offer of support. Can two severely damaged souls find solace in a community and in each other? (BELLEBOOKS, Aug., 398 pp., $16.95)
Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith