New York City attorney Matt Ryan’s divorce is finally settled. To escape the pain of discovering his wife with another man and the bitter break-up that followed, he migrates south and settles on a little spit of sand and marsh called Tybee Island, the last in a series of small barrier islands connected like a string of pearls by a single highway, stretching eighteen miles from the mainland at Savannah. The lure of the area is the laid-back ambiance of the island and its people, and an ambivalent desire to reconnect with Carolyn, his college sweetheart, who married a Savannah banker when Matt dumped her ten years ago to marry Yvette, a wealthy young lawyer in her father’s firm. He has forgotten Carolyn’s married name and spends some time searching for her. While trying to find Carolyn, he gets involved with Melody, an island girl. He eventually locates Carolyn, and now he has a decision to make.
Orphaned at eight-years-old, Matt grows up in an adoptive family in which he is neither enthusiastically received nor financially supported. As he matures he develops a compulsion for wealth, and a stable and loving family. With a committed work ethic and a law degree from Harvard, riches are easy enough to come by, but he finds the love and stable family he seeks much more elusive.
In his new home, his life merges with those of five unlikely new acquaintances: John Wayne, a homeless former philosophy professor from Kansas and his homeless friend, Robert, a Chicago murderer; Miss Florence, an elderly cussing church lady from South Florida; Hannah, a promiscuous teenager from Savannah; and Melody, a Tybee nurse. Together they discover all they need to know about love, family, and the island.
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