The oil fields of Texas are the lifeblood of the state, but they are filled with danger that equals their rewards. Just being on them can cost one's life, or leave you hurt.
This point is brought home to a group of diverse women when they are summoned to the hospital after a tragic accident that kills all involved, save one man. Unfortunately, the man has been burned beyond recognition, and no one can tell which of the women is not a widow. Even if they are able to do so, the woman will surely soon be one, or at best be left with a husband facing a very long and painfilled recovery that might leave him better off dead.
Each of the women comes to the waiting room with different things in her heart, one even hopes that she is a widow, while for one, the hope of her husband's survival is paramount. The others love their husbands as well, but only one can leave with a living husband. As they wait and pray, the women form a unique friendship that will see them through the dark days of putting their broken lives back together. As the months and weeks pass, they face emotional and financial crises that will put them to the test, and each of them tries to learn how to love again.
***** The STEEL MAGNOLIAS meets THE ENGLISH PATIENT might be an alternative title for this book. Ms. Thomas' debut modern literature has a warmth and realism that has characterized her past writing, making it accessible to a new audience without abandoning her loyal following. Tears and laughter alike await the reader.