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For the first time in their lives, Virginia Prentiss and her husband, Charlie, do the unexpected. When Virginia receives the news that she has developed terminal cancer, she and Charlie decide to run away-to uproot their orderly lives and enjoy Virginia's remaining days living life as fully as they can.
As they look for a place to start a new business, they stumble upon an abandoned convent in the Appalachian Mountains and fall in love with the graceful charm and serenity of the place. Against the advice of family and friends, they decide to spend their remaining time together in this new community-a far cry from the life they left behind.
Their new life is not without oddities. For all its beauty, the old building needs extensive repairs; what's more, the Prentisses find local residents to be eclectic and somewhat unusual folks with little regard for material things. And then there are the legends about the mineral springs that dot their property and fables about the Hopewell tribe who inhabited the area in ancient times.
As time passes and the Prentisses become more open to the new surroundings, the folklore of the area begins to invade Virginia's dreams. Her sleeping hours are rich with nocturnal adventures, shared with both the indigenous people of the ancient days and the former convent's more recent occupants; her dreams become a sort of mystical hodgepodge. Finally, on a raw autumn day, her dreams lead her on an arduous trek into the property's deepest woods, where she discovers a hidden glen-and her world is changed forever.