By Brian Willson
Published: March 27, 2013.
Divorced, living alone, an old dog as his only companion, Ed Austin's world has contracted into something simple, solitary—and safe. Then he acquires a box of forgotten letters written by a despondent farm wife in 1830, and things get complicated. When he moves into her abandoned homestead, he's visited by Lydia Starbird herself. Is she a ghost? A time traveler? The invention of a yearning soul?