19 August 1987
It's August. Like they have most summers, elderly widowed sisters Libby Strong and Sarah Webber, who live in Philadelphia, are staying together in the family's summer cottage on an island off the coast of Maine. The cottage, which now belongs to Sarah, has been in their family most of their lives, it which was the family's summer getaway from Philadelphia when they were younger. There are a few people who have been half-century friends or acquaintances on the island, including the outspoken Tisha Doughty who is like a bossy third sister, and Joshua Brackett, who has long done any of the handy work around the cottage. Someone relatively new at least to Sarah's social circle is Mr. Maranov, a former Russian aristocrat for who chivalry is just a way of life. His stay on the island is however threatened when his landlady, Hilda Partridge, passes away. Sarah and Libby have come to the realization that they are in the respective twilight of their lives, largely regarding issues directly concerning Libby. Sarah, who still keeps busy and wants to savor life's pleasures, acts as now sightless, cantankerous and bitter Libby's caregiver. Sarah knows she can no longer take care of Libby due to the emotional toil more so than the physical toil, as Libby has largely given up on life. As such, Sarah has to make alternate living arrangements instead of the Philadelphia house when they leave the island for the summer. Those arrangements will not involve Libby's estranged daughter Anna, who nonetheless has the means to take care of her mother, although not the want. It is their interactions with Tisha and Mr. Maranov which may decide their sisterly fate for the immediate future.
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