Thirty-eight year old Harry Crane is a life-long tree lover working as an analyst in the treeless USDA Forest Service office. Devastated by the recent loss of his beloved wife, the unwelcome news of an obscenely large legal settlement sends him careening to a remote forest tract in northeastern Pennsylvania where he decides to end it all. But when fate intervenes in the form of a fiercely determined little girl named Oriana, his plans are unceremoniously derailed. Oriana, too, has lost someone close to her, but in a the magical, willful world of her reckoning, Harry is the key to finding her way back to him, and she won’t rest until she’s healed them both.
Oriana won’t be alone in her efforts, however. Somehow, in the tiny town of New Milford, PA, a cast of unlikely participants—from ancient librarian Olive Perkins, to sleazy realtor Stu Giptner, to hulking, tongue-tied dairy farmer Cliff Blair and hapless, guilt-ridden Ronnie Wilmarth—will each play a role in the biggest sensation ever to descend upon the Endless Mountains…a golden, mythic lottery that will fulfill Oriana’s wildest dreams and forge a new life for the stricken, tree-loving Harry Crane. Life, it turns out, is the strangest fairy tale of all.
Since he was disfigured in a fire sixteen years ago, recluse Louis Malone has remained hidden from the prying eyes of his neighbors in the small town of Waverly. Across town, Iris Shula, a lonely and unlovely nurse, knows at thirty-seven it is unlikely that her Prince Charming will ever appear. But Iris is about to learn how wrong she is. When Louis accidentally falls out of his second-story window, these two kindred souls are brought together. What unfolds is a most unlikely love story. One that will make you laugh and that will break—and remake—your heart.
Max Lakeman is head-over-heels in love with his wife, enchanted by his two children, happy with his job mowing lawns. Unshakably content. Or is he? One warm summer night, Max’s overactive imagination conjures up a beautiful woman, Mrs. Zeno, who steps out of the moonlit rhododendrons and into his life. Max is certain that Mrs. Zeno is imaginary until she manages to seduce him into a passionate affair, blurring the lines between fantasy and reality, between wanting and having. Max Lakeman and the Beautiful Stranger brings rich attention to the emotional life of an ordinary man with remarkable insight into the longings of the human heart.