Caroline has never had what you would call a “successful” relationship with her mother. As a child, she was always adored by her father, who encouraged her dependence on him to the detriment of her bonding with her mother. As an adult, Caroline escaped an abusive husband and marriage and has now returned to her hometown of Clifden, Oregon. Caroline’s mother is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s, and it is Caroline’s hope that she can honor her mother’s one last wish: to spend her last days in her home. Although she knows this will not be easy, she is determined to be her mother’s caregiver for as long as she can.
Abby and Paul have finally decided that their marriage needs help, and they have begun attending marriage counseling. Paul has walked a fine line between faithfulness and unfaithfulness, and he has to regain Abby’s trust. They have a lifetime of history together, and neither is willing to give up on their future together without a fight.
Janie was a late-life baby to her parents and has never really understood the relationship that they shared. Janie has always felt that they were unhappy, but she was not able as a child to understand why; still, as an adult, she cannot explain it. Her happy marriage ends when her husband dies from an extended illness and she returns to her hometown of Clifden to grieve.
Marley is an artist. Divorced, she has moved back to Clifden where she grew up and is learning to move on with her life, renovating her dream cottage by the sea and developing her art.
These four women, remembered by many of the town’s older residents from their school years, were known as the “Lindas” growing up in Clifden (although none of them uses the name today, the formal name of each one is
"Linda"). Abby’s mother and Caroline’s mother still live in the small town where the girls learned to be friends and have gathered again forty years later.
Amid issues of Alzheimer’s, mental abuse and aging, author Melody Carlson puts a
strong emphasis on the signs and behaviors surrounding Alzheimer’s disease. Some friendships are meant to stand the test of time, and the reader will enjoy knowing more about these four and their connections.