The novella “Cross River” tells the story of Sonia and Cam, two artistic friends and their daughters who have stayed at a resort on Lake Superior for years. The main character, Sonia, has just won a sabbatical. She’s invited up to the Cross River resort by Jon-Oliver, the local postmaster, who calls after Thanksgiving to tell her his mother has just died. Sonia arrives in the coldest time of the year, happy at the prospect of snuggling with Jon-Oliver.

It’s the year of the attacks on the World Trade Center. This affects Cam’s beautiful daughter, Jani, who was in New York, supposed to work in the restaurant on the top of the towers the day of the attacks, but called in sick. Jani arrives at the resort to have dinner with Sonia before staying with friends. Her guilt at a stranger who took her place “in the firing squad” is deeply troubling. The novella depicts the effects of this tragedy on the characters.