From an award-winning writer, an utterly charming, delightfully fractured fairy tale of a romance between two people old enough to know better. When a storm tears a hole in Miss Eleanor Bannister's roof, the itinerant carpenter who volunteers to repair it is so capable and charming that he remodels Miss Eleanor's life. A retired schoolteacher in the town where she's always lived, Eleanor, at age sixty-nine, finds the sudden presence of Abel Brown in her life unnerving and unsettling --and after a time, irresistible. He shakes up her fixed ideas of who she is and starts her wanting something she never imagined for herself. Amid many complications, Eleanor and Abel proceed on the fractious course of their courtship, in a novel that is never less than captivating, witty, and pointedly clear-eyed.
Some people wait their whole life to fall in love. Some people never do. Eleanor Bannister, spinster, retired, thought that she belonged to the latter. Until the day, that is, when Abel Brown meandered into town. Abel by name and able by nature, he fixes her roof, mows the lawn, mends the steps, renovates the small 'Honeymoon Cottage' in her garden, befriends her nosey-but-kind neighbour across the street and gradually breaks down her defences. Used to her routine, disliking interference, Eleanor has kept her parents home exactly as it was when they were alive. The wardrobe is still full of her mother's clothes, she uses her mother's purse, and she writes a daily journal addressing it to her long dead parents. Eleanor is living in a time warp. Forced to confront her shortcomings and full of self-doubt, she re-evaluates her life and finds it wanting. Two lonely people in small-town America find eachother and face what is left of their future together. Heart-warming, funny, poignant and lovely. (Kirkus UK)