A grandmother, mother, daughter, estranged each from the other, are stranded in a decrepit, isolated house by a river as the year plunges autumn through winter. Pepper, the 6-year-old sees a watery old woman; her mother Ada converses with her; and Pearl the grandmother flows through their lives, having been ashes scattered into the river in the first chapter. A lyrical ghost story about the ties that bind-- family and place.

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