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Baby Boomer sisters Charlene and Jani heard it all their lives growing up: "If you haven't got anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." And, "Be sweet now, hear?" It's Maple Syrup season in Homestead, Michigan, and both girls are back in their hometown to help their aging parents with the syrup harvest. Turns out after all these years, Char's still trying-unsuccessfully-to be sweet and Jani's stuck to her own syrupy impulses. As Char's old flame tries to light up her nights and Jani's husband begins to grate on her not-flashing nerves, the sisters rally, knowing if they can weather midlife together, victory will be sweet!
Same mom. Same dad. Completely different lives. Who's to say which sister has it sweeter?
Viney Haverford always told her daughters to "be sweet." But the only thing sweet about Charlene Haverford these days is her sweet tooth. Little sister Janni is the nice one. The one with the intact marriage, the great kids, the stable life on the family homestead in Tappery, Michigan. Charlene's the sister who left town heartbroken and humiliated but built a sweet life for herself half a continent away: High-octane job. Red BMW. Seaside cottage. And an uncomplicated relationship with a great-looking man.
Charlene might not be the sweet sister, but she still craves sweets, like the incomparable maple syrup from her family's own maples. Which is why she's finally come home. And to make sure her tightfisted sister doesn't botch plans for their parents' 50th anniversary bash. And to show the local gossips that she's not the loser they think she is.
But Charlene's time in Tappery proves stickier than anticipated. Sweet Janni has turned moody, Mom's acting paranoid, Dad may be sneaking around with a local widow, the local police seem to be stalking them all, and the little twinge in Charlene's mouth has morphed into a full-blown, sugar-induced toothache. A hunky local dentist offers delicious diversion. But just when things get cozy, a series of revelations open both sisters' hearts to sweet possibilities they never even imagined.
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