Of Ripeness & The River
Mary F. Burns
Alternating between 1982 and 1894, two storylines converge when a young literature professor, startled by a phrase in Jack London’s diary that links to her haunting, recurring dream, searches for evidence of her past life. New and former lovers and rock stars complicate the journey with intense experiences, and give her a mission to complete in the present.
Clare Yates lives by a river and teaches in a small Midwestern university town in 1982, six years after leaving her lover in San Francisco. In a “hobo” diary by Jack London, she finds a clue to what she always thought was true—she has lived another life, in a different place and time. She’s had a dream since childhood of a woman in 19th century dress running downhill, a baby in her arms, away from a burning house. With the clues from London’s diary, she goes looking for proof of that life.
Alternating chapters begin to reveal the life of Mary Ferguson, starting in 1894, whose life is lived alongside another river, and the two storylines converge as Clare struggles to discover her past life. New and former lovers and rock stars complicate the journey with intense experiences, and give her a mission to complete in the present.