Liberty “Libby” O’Neill has it all.
A business partner-fiancé she adores.
A thriving Victorian restoration business in San Francisco, a city forested with raw material sufficient to keep them employed—and comfortable—for years to come.
Then, why the sense of dread stirring her from sleep at 3 a.m.?
Why the sudden terror? The cold sweat?
This makes no sense, she tells the darkness.
But it does.
Libby awakens to reality of imminent bankruptcy after her fiancé abandons her, absconding with all the company’s cash.
In desperation, she hires a half-demented street person, known only as Painter, to help her complete a Victorian restoration that can save her from ruin.
As work progresses, Libby discovers a surprising reserve of wisdom in her new assistant. The restoration of the grand 19th century house parallels the transformation both Libby and Painter lives, as individuals and, over time, with each other. Their working relationship faces a severe challenge, when she discovers that her homeless day laborer is someone quite other than a street person who spiraled into booze-driven self-loathing.
Can their mutual healing survive revelation of Painter’s true identity?
Or are they each too irreparably broken to put their lives together and become whole—for themselves and for each other?