At the edge of exhaustion, lichenologist Zinnie Fazail struggles to maintain a professional life as her mother’s mental acuity decays. Ursula Fazail insists on wandering the neighborhood, looking for a vaguely remembered blue mushroom while lapsing into the language of her childhood. Zinnie is desperate for a health aide who can keep up with her mother’s excursions. When May Belle Pope moves in with promises to “Take care of things”, Zinnie learns that Evil can be a roommate with small barking dogs.
John Kimberley has what it takes to be a world-class scientist—raw ambition, solid and prestigious albeit expensive education, sharp intellect and a desire to stave off the encroaching climatic disaster. Yet there is a mountain of needs and obligations hiding underneath the sterling values of a scientist. It ends up being so powerful that it drives all his career and life choices. Fifteen years after walking out on the love of his life, he is a successful corporate man. He rubs elbows with the wealthy and powerful, and enjoys the prosperity granted to him from his career. And though there is an ever-present feeling of guilt and remorse, that pricks the back of his neck and tries to reach his heart, he has learned to ignore it.