In October 1947, after a summer-long drought, fires break out all along the Maine coast and are soon racing out of control from town to village. Five months pregnant, Grace Holland is left alone to protect her two toddlers when her husband, Gene, joins the volunteer firefighters. Along with her best friend, Rosie, and Rosie's two young children, Grace watches helplessly as their houses burn to the ground, the flames finally forcing them all into the ocean as a last resort. The women spend the night frantically protecting their children, and in the morning find their lives forever changed: homeless, penniless, awaiting news of their husbands' fate, and left to face an uncertain future in a town that no longer exists.
During World War I, a woman with an American accent who was found dressed in a British nurse's aide uniform awakens in a French field hospital, with no memories of how she got there and no idea of who she might be. Tentatively dubbing herself "Stella Bain," she is compelled to head for London where she believes she'll find clues to unravel the mystery of her identity.
"A marriage is always two intersecting stories." This realization comes perhaps too late to the husband of Etna Bliss-a man whose obsession with his young wife begins at the moment of their first meeting and culminates in a marriage doomed by secrets and betrayal.
The year is 1899, and Olympia Biddeford, the headstrong daughter of a Boston Brahmin family, has decided to test the limits of her cloistered world. Spending the summer at her father's New Hampshire estate, the teenage heroine of Fortune's Rocks is entranced with the visiting salon of artists, writers, and lawyers --- and especially by John Haskell, a charismatic physician.