What would you do if your best friend - someone you trusted and loved - were suddenly arrested and charged with a crime that occurred before you ever knew him or her? What if that person just shut right down and couldn't talk? What if you had a dark past of your own and could therefore identify with this friend?
Such is the situation that Poppy Blake finds herself in as An Accidental Woman begins. The setting is Lake Henry, New Hampshire, and the season is late winter, just as the maple sap is about to be harvested and boiled down into syrup. Poppy has lived in this little lake town all her life. Twelve years earlier, she was involved in a snowmobile accident and has been in a wheelchair ever since. But she is active and vibrant, truly the pulse of Lake Henry, as she mans the telephone lines running in and out of the town. Poppy desperately wants to help this suddenly mysterious friend of hers, Heather Malone. In doing so, though, she is forced to confront her own issues with the past - and to take a new look at her plans for the future.
An Accidental Woman has a cast that includes Poppy's mother Maida, her sisters, Lily and Rose, Heather's significant other, the sugarmaker Micah Smith, and the man who most challenges Poppy's conscience, Griffin Hughes. These people are all key as the town pulls together both to solve the Heather puzzle and to survive an ice storm that threatens Micah's sugar crop.