Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to attempt something remarkable.
One hundred and fifty years ago, Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England's finest novelists. Now it's home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen's legacy threatened, a group of individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen's home and her legacy.
A young fast tracker from Ohio, who has fantasized since childhood about attending Oxford University, becomes a Rhodes Scholar and realizes her dream. But what transpires in just several months is so much more than a college experience. Ella, at 24, has been hired to play a pivotal role in the U.S. Presidential campaign back home while adjusting to Oxford culture, a new relationship, developing friendships and a potential life-altering situation.
Maggie Adair is a schoolteacher from Glasgow. She teaches at the rough school where she herself was taught and is living with her high school sweetheart.
Maggie feels stifled by the inevitability of her life and on a whim applies for a position at an exclusive girls' boarding school called Downey House in Cornwall. But how will a left-wing, inner city school teacher cope with the atmosphere of a school in a castle, pupils whose parents are diplomats and rock stars and snooty teachers. The girls and other teachers all get to know each other over the course of the year, attitudes change and friendships are formed.
1932, Minnesota—the Lincoln School is a place where Native American children, forcibly separated from their parents, are sent. It is also home to an orphan named Odie O’Banion. Forced to flee, he and his brother Albert, their best friend Mose, and a little girl named Emmy steal away in a canoe, heading for St. Louis.
During one unforgettable summer, these four orphans will journey into the unknown and cross paths with struggling farmers, traveling faith healers and other lost souls.
The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up in a small, southern black community and running away at 16, it's not just the shape of their lives that is different, it's families, communities, racial identities. Years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the town she tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined.
When Marilyn and David Sorenson fall in love in the 1970s, they are blithely ignorant of all that awaits them. By 2016, their four radically different daughters are in a state of unrest. Wendy, widowed young, soothes herself with booze and younger men; Violet, a litigator turned stay-at-home-mom, battles anxiety and self-doubt; Liza, a neurotic and newly tenured professor, finds herself pregnant with a baby she's not sure she wants; and Grace, the dawdling youngest daughter, begins living a lie that no one in her family even suspects. With the arrival of Jonah Bendt--a child placed for adoption by one of the daughters fifteen years before--the Sorensons will be forced to reckon with the rich and varied past.