This is our two-hundredth visit to our friends on Pine Street. We first looked out Franny’s apartment window in December of 2016, three and a half years ago. Since then, we watched her and the rest of the Pine Street regulars experience love, loss, injury, recovery; develop new friends and enemies, and transform enemies into friends; we witnessed weddings and celebrations of lives lost. We explored the secrets of cellars, explosives, and sea monsters, and examined the wisdom of grandmothers, widows, and baristas.
Now, this fourth spring on Pine Street brings the usual valley “breeze,” blossoms, and sunshine; and something far less typical, far more sinister: a viral pandemic.
The world has come to Pine Street.
Our friends stubbornly resist any efforts to pigeonhole them into stereotypical responses. They will continue to surprise us with their actions in the face of this challenge to their daily lives.
It’s possible that David will rise to the occasion and become the hero of the neighborhood, organizing supplies and support for everyone who cannot fend for themselves.
It’s possible that Sasha, witnessing his transformation, will question her devotion to her anger, exploring the possibility of letting go of her rage.
It’s possible that Kassandra will discover the limits of her kindness as she faces the forces that would expose her, and others, to the pandemic.
It’s possible that Allison, stuck with her annoying parents, will deepen her love for them, and for history, and reverse her post-master’s-thesis vow to never write for publication again.
It’s possible that Douglas will make the toughest decision of his life, as he faces his mortality (again).
It’s possible that Louise will transform her relationship with her sister, Penelope, into something neither of them could predict.
It’s possible that Leo will find himself on the opposite side of a dividing line from Franny, his true love.
And, it’s possible that in the face of this tremendous disruption, Franny will reverse one long-standing commitment, and make another, the commitment of a lifetime.