Below is a sampling of the opening chapter titled A Letter from Miss Wingate.
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.~ Colossians 3:13, NIV
"The unopened letter stood in the middle of the kitchen island where Martin Gilmore had tossed it aside as an unexpected reminder of his past. Since its arrival, the letter felt like a throbbing thorn in his finger. Instead of being a reason to show mercy toward Miss Wingate, as his wife Sarah would likely have encouraged, it was more a reminder of what might have been had he never encountered Elizabeth Wingate.
Martin heard the Lancaster Herald morning newspaper land with a soft thud on the front steps leading up to the wrap-around porch. He glanced out the window and saw the delivery van make a swift U-turn and work its way down his driveway through the patches of early-morning September mist. When the vehicle reached the main road that encircled Lake Windermere, it turned right and faded into the fog hovering along the shore line.
He slipped two slices of whole wheat bread into the toaster before he went outside and picked up the newspaper, anxious to scan the weekend classified pages. The moist air felt clammy against his face. The weather forecast predicted heavy rain starting early in the morning and into most of next week. And the sudden appearance of that letter still felt unsettling, like a thunderous cloud ready to burst open with angry rain.
When he got back inside, he could smell the satisfying fragrance of toast. The coffee-maker wheezed and sputtered with steam, announcing the end of its brew cycle. He poured a cup of coffee, its stimulating aroma giving little encouragement to open that letter delivered in yesterday’s mail from his old 8th grade teacher."