Elizabeth Ridley's novel begins when bright, self-confident, red-headed Rainey McBride is born in a crowded locker room after a basketball game in 1970. Abandoned by her teenage mother and raised in rural Wisconsin by stern Scandinavian grandparents, Rainey's longing for love and affection is fulfilled by her exotic second cousin Ambrose Torsten Dienst, a stylish, wealthy, would-be Danish prince embodying all the grace and glamour missing from Rainey's stolid small town life. Following their dramatic encounter at a Thanksgiving dinner in 1979, Rainey and Ambrose become blood brothers and swear their souls to protecting each other, a solemn vow that leads to devastating consequences years later.
Rainey comes of age in a world made up of two places: one for those who know grief, and the other for those who haven't yet experienced it. Rainey's story becomes a lament in every sense: a passionate song about loss, about the people who have fled from loss, and those who - like Rainey - wait for the day when, through love, they may truly understand the keening songs of sorrow.
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