Water is Wider synopsis
WATER IS WIDER opens with eleven-year-old Phoebe Locke running away from home to find her father who has left the family. She sets off on foot for Connecticut, where she suspects her father is based on a cryptic postcard found in her stepmother’s room. Phoebe’s journey intertwines with troubles facing Sidney O’Neill, a middle-aged proofreader at a failing printing company. In addition to facing looming unemployment, Sidney is grappling with the loss of her mother, a strong-willed woman whose husband had walked out on her when Sidney was born, and as a result had kept her daughter on a tight leash. Sidney spent her entire life in her mother’s shadow, never moving out on her own. Adding to the stress: Sidney faces the prospect of losing her home, the Victorian her grandfather built, to a man who claims to be her long-lost father, Donald O’Neill.
Sidney should have found distraction at Poppy Press, the printing company where she is employed. However, Poppy Press is in turmoil. Like most printers in the digital age, there are fewer and fewer printing projects. Poppy Press has been sold to a New York conglomerate, which soon announces it is taking the company into bankruptcy.
Phoebe is discovered hiding in Sidney’s basement. Sidney ignores her inclination to go to the authorities, and instead decides to harbor Phoebe. During this period, Sidney, under pressure from her attorney, attempts to search for any will or legal document that her mother may have left, which could help build a case to stop Donald O’Neill from taking the house. Meanwhile at Poppy Press, there’s a power struggle among the leadership and workers grow fearful for their job. One troubled employee, J.T., who often confides in Sidney, becomes increasingly disturbed at the unraveling of the printing press. What follows is a sequence of events that, in the end, allow the motherless child and the childless woman to form a bond that is, in its own way, unbreakable.
Balm in Gilead synopsis
In A BLAM IN GILEAD, college student Quinn Carlisle is returning to campus after a funeral when she is attacked, held captive, and sexually assaulted. At one point in the attack, she is in possession of a knife and in a position to stab her assailant, Dennis Price, but finds she can’t. She manages to escape the next morning and Price is arrested. The trauma is compounded by a travesty of justice: A jury finds Price guilty despite the bungling of a novice prosecutor, but the corrupt judge refuses to sentence him. Quinn’s attacker is set free.
The events scar Quinn and she struggles to pull her life together. Ten years go by. Quinn, having recently ended a relationship of convenience, starts over on her own and develops a new relationship. On the surface, Quinn lives a reasonably normal life. But underneath she has all the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including an unreasonable guilt that the attack was somehow her fault.
One evening, Quinn hears on the local news about the gruesome murder of a young woman. A word had been carved into the woman’s flesh. This startles Quinn because it’s the exact word crudely carved into her in her own attack ten years earlier. Quinn becomes convinced that it is the same assailant. She and her boyfriend Joe Armstrong attempt to report it to the police. When it appears to fall on deaf ears, Quinn agrees to Joe’s idea to do some amateur investigating on their own. What follows is a suspenseful tale of a search for justice and healing that's rooted in the explosive current issue of campus assaults.