Intelligent, impassioned, and compelling, Lunden’s latest explores the complex inner world of JB Stratton, the old, eccentric character from the original novella Bulwark, with great sensitivity and insight. Dirt poor and talented JB has never thought about becoming anything else but a peanut farmer like his father and his father’s father. But when the lovely Ellie walks into his life, he begins to think about bigger things to achieve. Fate gives him a chance, but Ellie is taken away from him. Will the lovers unite? Lunden depicts her characters with skill and precision and describes the gothic town of Bulwark, Georgia with richly atmospheric details. Encounters with strangers on the verge of hysteria after getting caught in bizarre near-death experiences are punctuated by JB and Ellie’s sweet love story. A flurry of gothic touches (children going missing, occasional strange happenings, the characters with tortured pasts) add to the intricacy of the plot. While the story is straightforward, Lunden offers deep insights into the mind and heart of JB, a complex man whose longing, restlessness, and enduring love for his wife make every one of his actions, both uncertainties and reservations, credible and emotionally rich. Gripping, passionate, and thoughtful—a novel that explores second chances, vagaries of fate, and how luck places people in each other’s path.