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At the turn of the twentieth century, Isaac Overstreet goes looking for a bride and finds Elizabeth “Bessie” Treadway standing in the middle of the Sabine River. Leaving her sisters without explanation, carrying her three pet cranes, Bessie slips into Isaac’s boat and returns with him to Camp Ruby—a tiny backwoods East Texas community too humble to be called a real town.
In Isaac’s broken-down shack, they start a family together. First come the twin daughters, the Ruby-Jewels, followed by Zeda Earl, always sour and dissatisfied with the life she has been born into.
For all of Zeda Earl’s ennui, there is magic on the shores of the Sabine, where angels fish and the seriously deranged sometimes bring about miracles. For the Overstreets and their eccentric friends and neighbors, every day in Camp Ruby holds new wonder—until the simple ways they have come to rely on are threatened by a dangerous unwanted interloper called progress.
Edward Swift, the acclaimed author of Splendora and Principia Martindale, brings us a fable for our time—a wondrous tale of family and community, rich in color and imagination and suffused with everyday magic.