The focus begins with Gaberdine's dreamy view of the world in 1973, 16 years after arriving as a bride to a farm in Colorado. She imagines creating the Rose Trellis Tea Room; then the plots multiply with her daughter Michy's irritable adolescent frustration, her tolerant husband's practical love of his other-worldly wife, a female friend who is a wannabe lover, and an adolescent boy hired more out of her husband's compassion than from the need of a hired hand. If these are the starting line-up characters, there is an extremely strong bench, including a couple siblings, a senior local denizen, a couple teachers from the local school, the operator of the local café (who frets about possible competition from the Rose Trellis Tea Room), and a few others who each have a story developed around them. But just as we've become acquainted with Gaberdine's eccentric version of life in the Colorado countryside, the book takes us back in time to 1957, to introduce us to the young Gaby and the people who inhabited her world. Flash forward, chapter by chapter, to Michy's adolescence and eventually to Gaby's senescence, albeit so skillfully and smoothly that we hardly are aware of time passing.