Front Cover
Ballantine Books, 2002 - Fiction - 329 pages
""You must promise me to go back to Wisdom one day. You see, little girl, Wisdom is your Source. It's where your blood was born. . . ."
The words of her grandfather echo in her ears as Maia Ransom, a nurse from Michigan, arrives on the island of St. Croix for the first time. She has always been curious about the great estate her grandfather lovingly described, but the importance of this place has suddenly become vital. A private woman with no lover and no children, Maia is slowly succumbing to the same disease that killed her mother. She has three weeks to find Wisdom. Once there, Maia hopes to uncover the rich history of her people--and the will to fight for her own life.
But once on the intoxicating Caribbean island, Maia finds that the inhabitants resent her presence and are determined to lead her astray. Maia finally locates the estate, but the once-grand manor now sits crumbling in disrepair, home to the dissolute, alcoholic, and severely ill Severin Johanssen, the only living son of its former owner. After an initial frosty dismissal, Maia finds herself living at Wisdom as Severin's temporary nurse.
Seeking refuge, Maia befriends Noah Langston, a striking Crucian lawyer who is doing all he can to help his people rise up to self-sufficiency. Noah soon opens up in Maia tender emotions she never imagined were hers to feel. But what he discovers about her family will shock Maia to the core. For Wisdom is not just her legacy, it might be her future. And there are people who will do everything in their power to keep Maia from fulfilling her destiny.
With a clear eye and a poet's heart, Heather Neff has written an absorbing, redemptive novel of struggle, family secrets, and making the profound choice between hiding safely from the truth or leaping through uncertainty towards true love. "Wisdom is ultimately about finding one's true soul.

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User Review  - www.kirkusreviews.com

Neff (Blackgammon, 2000) serves up an Afro-Caribbean-Gothic stew spiced with purple prose and an intricate plot. Dark secrets swirl around Wisdom, the crumbling old plantation on St. Croix to which ... Read full review


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Section 12
Section 13
Section 14
Section 15
Section 16
Section 17
Section 18

Section 9
Section 10

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About the author (2002)

An associate professor of English at Eastern Michigan University, Heather Neff attended the University of Paris (Sorbonne) and received her Ph.D. at the University of Zurich. Fluent in German and French, she also worked as a translator and as a language coach for film productions. Before returning to the U.S., she spent two years teaching at the University of the Virgin Islands. She is also the author of Blackgammon.

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