Mary and Oâ€™Neil frequently marveled at how, of all the lives they might have led, they had somehow found this one together. When they met at the Philadelphia high school where theyâ€™d come to teach, each had suffered a profound loss that had not healed. How likely was it that they could learn to trust, much less love, again? Justin Croninâ€™s poignant debut traces the lives of Mary Olson and Oâ€™Neil Burke, two vulnerable young teachers who rediscover in each other a world alive with promise and hope. From the formative experiences of their early adulthood to marriage, parenthood, and beyond, this novel in stories illuminates the moments of grace that enable Mary and Oâ€™Neil to make peace with the deep emotional legacies that haunt them: the sudden, mysterious death of Oâ€™Neilâ€™s parents, Maryâ€™s long-ago decision to end a pregnancy, Oâ€™Neilâ€™s sisterâ€™s battle with illness and a troubled marriage. Alive with magical nuance and unexpected encounters, Mary and Oâ€™Neil celebrates the uncommon in common lives, and the redemptive power of love.