Anastasie Devereux was born in Louisiana amid the ferocity of a hurricane. Her parents, simple, but not ordinary, can’t shield her from the world.Leprosy, polio scourges, and bigotry infect the nation.At puberty, her mother reveals that she possesses a gift of healing, passed from mother to daughter. If the daughter denies the gift or fails to use it, it disappears forever. If the gift is used, she acquires symptoms of the ailment she cures. The healer and her ability are diminished.Anastasie knows love and predation in adolescence, but is drawn to her legacy of healing. She becomes a nurse and joins the Army. In the mountains of Vietnam, Anastasie’s destiny is challenged. She encounters love, loss, despair.She returns home to protesters and turmoil, yet gains solace with her father, a quiet war hero. She renews her friendship with a girl whose issues of being an African-American have led her into an abyss.Anastasie takes a job in nursing. Life is empty, prospects grim. A call changes that and she finds love and happiness with a former vet, Sam..The couple lives an idyllic life in Virginia and has a child, Abigail. Everything is perfect, but Sam, who works for the CIA, is sent to Bosnia and dies. Anastasie has a child crushed by the loss of her father.Communication between Abigail and her mother is tenuous. As the child enters high school, she shows grief by blaming her mother and using drugs. Anastasie ends the latter, but can’t heal the rift. She wavers in discussing Abigail’s legacy, which is revealed by accident. Tension increases as Anastasie tries and Abigail rejects reconciliation. .Abigail quits college and goes to New York to work. With the help of her friend, Trixie, Abigail descends into a miasma of sex, drugs and self-loathing. She is vaguely aware of danger from someone in her mother’s past, the father of the man who once raped Anastasie. The father now demands that she save his son from AIDS.On September 11, 2001 Abigail is awakened. From her window, she stares at the smoking Twin Towers. The south tower collapses. She runs into the chaos to find her friend. Trixie is dead. With the north tower plunging around her, Abigail restores Trixie’s life.In the aftermath of 9/11, Abigail resolves to change, but she is pursued by two men. One a shadowy figure, the other is Dwayne. Dwayne is too perfect and Abigail both encourages and rejects him.Anastasie, as before, moves to end the threat. The shadowy figure disappears, but Dwayne won’t. Abigail waffles. Trixie, convinced that her boyfriend, Tyrone, and Abigail are having an affair, commits suicide.Abigail and Dwayne are shaken to find that Tyrone is injured. Abigail, torn by grief and guilt, saves the despicable Tyrone.Abigail returns home to her mother. Fate intervenes and she discovers her mother’s journal. It is a pivotal moment. She realizes the magnitude of her responsibility to life, love and the care of others. She calls Dwayne, admits her love for him, and they are married. They settle in New York.Anastasie plans an anniversary party for the couple in New Orleans. This time the intruder is the hurricane, Katrina. Anastasie has prepared the trip for weeks and won’t allow a storm to intervene. Abigail and Dwayne think she is safely in Virginia, visiting friends.During the storm, Anastasie awakes to discover that four of Lavonia’s family members are drowning, trapped in their car in a swirling river. She races to the rescue.Abigail and Dwayne think Anastasie is safe and make love. Anastasie struggles to rescue the family. With her last breath, she saves the final member. Strength gone, Anastasie drifts into the depths of the river. Light and loving spirits embrace her.Abigail is aware the instant she becomes pregnant. Emotion engulfs her. She will have a daughter, Amanda. The child will struggle as those who came before. There will be tragedies, but triumphs also. And a beginning as beautiful and eternal as the flower, Amaranth.