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About the Book
Hank Cleary, the town doctor in Alma, Wisconsin, failed his wife when she died. In spring 1999 he struggles to climb back into life.

A Chicago expatriate, he is challenged by other migrants: the Chicana owner of Livy's Bar and Café, an old man who loves jazz, a Navajo family transplanted from the Southwest, a strange woman who rarely speaks, a drifting Menominee, and the iconoclastic Bookstore Ladies. Disparate cultures rub up against each other.

When a cataclysmic fire engulfs the Alma recycling plant in mid-summer, Hank cannot resuscitate Silent Margaret, and he relives his despair at being unable to save his wife. At the turn of the millennium, healing comes in unexpected ways.

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