From the author of The Saving Graces: “When I crave romance with emotional punch and unforgettable characters, I turn to Patricia Gaffney” (Nora Roberts).
Newly installed at his modest post in Wayne’s Crossing, Pennsylvania, Tyler Wilkes is a doctor, a hero of the Spanish-American War, and the heir to a great fortune. His wealthy family in Philadelphia doesn’t approve of his new station, but Tyler is sure of his calling. And the young ladies of Wayne’s Crossing can’t seem to get enough of their handsome young physician, exploiting every excuse to visit his offices with imagined maladies. Tyler is most intrigued by Carrie Wiggins. Mute, sensitive, lovely, and troubled, Carrie lives with her abusive alcoholic stepfather, Artemis, in the mountains just outside of town. Her gentle nature and the loving care she bestows on injured animals in the woods quickly endear her to Tyler, though they belie the darkness in her life. Can she overcome her tortured past to give voice to her heart?
Tyler Wilkes, a physician from an affluent Philadelphia family, has bought a practice in small-town Wayne's Crossing. Formerly one of Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders, he dreams of becoming an epidemiologist and finding a cure for malaria. Instead, he meets Carrie Wiggins, a mute waif who lives with her abusive and zealously religious stepfather in a small mountain cabin. She shares her ``hospital''--a clearing in the woods where she bandages and cares for injured animals--with Tyler, and her naivete enchants him. Carrie communicates by writing in a small notebook until Tyler happens upon her when she is alone and singing one day and discovers that she is capable of speech. Gaffney ( Another Eden ) populates the burg with interesting characters, such as Dr. Stoneman, the curmudgeonly country doctor whose office Tyler has acquired; Mrs. Quick, Tyler's nosy housekeeper; and Broom, a tall, skinny boy who suffers from St. Vitus's Dance. This historical romance is more cerebral than most, but 18-year-old Carrie's childlike innocence is so powerful that it gives the eventual intimacy between her and Tyler an unsettling undercurrent of pedophilia.