Debra Nicolis Thurston, Western Connecticut State University


At age 54, when Nickie was heading to divorce court, she also began a fantastical inward journey to revisit her pivotal past experiences. Now at 60 and regrouping from a few setbacks to her planned move to California, Nickie has a quixotic, exotic dream about Craig, her remarried ex-husband. She learns that he has returned to New Haven and is getting divorced. Attending their daughter’s graduation and wedding over the past two years, they were cordial to each other, so Nickie hopes that Craig will finally answer one of two questions that plague her. “What really happened that had made you want a divorce? The second question will wait until she moves to California, where she plans to ask her elderly mother, “Did you ever intend for me to return home?” The answers to each of these questions can’t change her past, but the answers might help her better understand herself as she moves towards her future.

Craig’s news confuses Nickie, who has finally released any hope of learning the truth of why he left. She has grown and begins to review the past five years of moving in and out of shared spaces and how these moves have supported her spiritual and emotional evolutions. Renting her extra bedrooms to Modani and three couples is the first step that helps Nickie to better understand the nature of relationships, sacrifice and purpose. The subsequent homes she moves into and out of also rekindle her natural social-justice instincts, and cause her to be evicted from the house and leads her to Woodland Street, where she feels that she has come full circle. The idealistic couple who live there, challenge her last nerve and inspire her to release her fear of abandonment, and move toward a more rewarding future by seeking her True North.