Devastated by news that the dairy barn on her Wisconsin farm is being pulled down and sold off in pieces, Lori Moyer pleads to save it, “It is not just a barn. It is an icon—a way of life!” When a journal is found hidden in a beam of the hayloft, only Lori remembers its author, John Chapman, a soldier survivor of World War I, who Lori’s family hired to finish the new barn. John was solitary, fearful of interaction, and estranged from his own family—but to her, he was a father figure and a storyteller who saved her life and her father’s life too! Now, she wonders if she really did know this man?
Struck with the notion that he may have suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, she queries the Internet and discovers a secret world John never shared with her.
When Lori reads John’s journal, his legacy to her, entitled “The Necklace of Words,” it resounds with loss, longing, love, anger, and fear. Powerful images spark Lori’s own memories of tragedy and joy spent in her long-ago beloved home. The phrase she used playfully, “My barn burned down and now I see the moon” is manifest, and out of the ashes arises the phoenix of self discovery.
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