In the dark days of the Great Depression, when eleven-year-old Bobbie Rycroft became Annie Ashley, cherished daughter of Alan and Lenore, she left behind a life of fear and deprivation. Or so she believed as she grew to womanhood, sheltered in an affluent home with every material possession and opportunity. Graduating from Vassar just as America gears up for war, she enters into a hasty marriage with David Levinson only ten days before he goes overseas. When he returns, they are strangers.
David loves Annie deeply, but he realizes that she cannot live in the present until she has made peace with her past. When he urges her to find Albert Rycroft's shining star, she insists that Bobbie is dead. But David knows that Bobbie is very much alive and that his own tangled connection to her past could put Annie in danger of losing her life.
(Pages 322) Sensual
She felt her face flame. "I'm your wife, David."
"We didn't have much of a marriage. Ten days, and from what I remember, we spent most of that time in bed. We can't spend the rest of our lives there."
"I always wondered if that's why you married me," she said before she thought. "Because you couldn't get me any other way."
"Is that what you thought?"
"Well, you said..."
"I know what I said, but you had a choice, didn't you?"
"I guess so. Yes."
"Well, assuming that I married you because I wanted you, why did you marry me?"
Her mind raced frantically for some kind of answer that would be honest but not heartless. David would know if she was telling the truth.
Taking a deep breath and expelling it slowly to buy time, she said, "I don't know, David."
"I didn't think you did. Do you want a divorce?"
"You haven't been home but a few hours. I don't think this is the time to discuss anything so...so final."
"When do you think it will be time?"
"What do you want, David?"
"You, Annie. Just you. I was in love with you. I still am."
"We hardly knew each other."
"I remember telling you once that love can't be explained. It just happens."
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