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June 26 , 2010

Blackberry Moon


Things are going well for Violet Bloomquist. She’s spending the summer housesitting in the wealthy suburb of Bellavista with her husband and teaching a literature class at Knowlton College. The eccentric inhabitants of Bellavista provide a dramatic contrast to those in the grittier community of Knowlton, where Violet has lived and taught for the past five years. She develops a friendship with philanthropist Rita Kensington, who runs a public garden in Bellavista. She also becomes close to one of her students—Nick Wainwright, a young man who works for Rita and displays a great talent for writing. In July, however, things start to fall apart. Violet’s husband is sent away on a business trip for three weeks, and Violet’s best friend Zach, the loveable curmudgeon who makes teaching at Knowlton bearable, suddenly disappears. Violet is worried and confused as she wrestles with some big decisions. As the summer draws to a close, many of the Bellavista residents convene at Rita’s party held during the “blackberry moon,” a time of peak ripeness, when decisions must no longer be postponed, and the present moment must be savored before the opportunity fades.

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