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7. Walks into Her Life: Shocking Moment, Haunting Incident.

Rick Moyer walks into her life at a most amazing moment, in a coincidence that is almost supernatural (in fact, prefiguring the closest thing to a haunting incident in the entire story, which to be clear is not at all a fantasy, but real life does have its smoky fringes to leave us wondering). Rick is a dashing young businessman who regularly whizzes by on the thruway, at last twice a week, doing big money deals in New York City, Hartford, and Boston. He has no idea that Emery, Connecticut even exists. Then, one hot summer day, he stops for gas and a soda in Emery for the first time ever—it's just a single stoplight off the exit ramp, near a library. He stops in the library for a cool drink of water and a few air conditioned moments—which is when the two meet, and their lives change forever in an instant.

This moment in time affects both their lives, for a powerful reason I will reveal shortly, as the story goes far beyond its simple and appealing surface conceit of Sleeping Beauty and the Shining Knight who will come to awaken her. This moment of meeting prefigures that haunting incident I will shortly describe. The light, 'sweet' reader need not engage on this level, but those readers open to the deeper level will be involved in it.

Rick is the shining knight who climbs the tower to awaken the sleeping beauty from her melancholy slumber. He brings his own recent sad divorce story with him. They each have issues to resolve. Like little Emery Township, the story is simple and might be easy to miss, except that it is handled with powerful suspense by a seasoned author. Rick is coming to a pivotal point in his life. After sowing some wild oats, including a stint in the Army, he returned home and joined his father's successful financial firm. He got into a disastrous marriage, for whose fallout he and his family will pay for years. Nevertheless, failed as he is at love, and bored with 'elevator music', he proves that he has his own outstanding talent for putting financial packages together to rescue and sell failed companies to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. This comes at a price, since his powerful father refuses to let go the reins of power, and the two men are headed for a generational collision—all in the pages of this novel.