Pained by her parents’ fraying marriage and her mother’s public fight against teaching creation science, Phoebe seeks independence through romance. Her passion for self-fulfillment triggers unforeseen violence between jealous boyfriends. Facing the costs that teens and parents must pay for physical, psychological and spiritual survival, Phoebe discovers that every relationship, life’s essential building block, brings shock and regret.
Striking an uneasy alliance with her sister, Kate, Lou plans a trip to take their widowed and cantankerous mother, Vivian, for a beach weekend. Lou includes a social worker friend to assess Vivian’s physical and psychological needs. Ever fractious, Vivian resists all help, threatening to leave by cab. Lou awakes at midnight to shouts from her son, Johnny, who arrives fleeing a job calamity and stumbles across Vivian on the beach. Stretched between her mother’s health emergency and Johnny’s struggles, Lou grasps for knots of love to keep Vivian alive and tie the troubled family together.
A Christmas Carol
Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, perennial favorite follows the redemption of the “grasping old sinner,” the greedy Ebenezer Scrooge. Warned by the ghost of his money changing house partner Jacob Marley, Scrooge is guided by spirits into his Christmases “past,” through the Christmas “present,” enjoyed fully by those he has wronged and the poor he has ignored, and into a vision of his lonely, frightful death. Heart opened by past hope, love and regret, Scrooge’s joy for life and others bursts forth like church bells loudly ringing on Christmas morning.
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