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Everyone has a tale that must be told. In this masterful, evocative collection of stories, Katherine L. Hester gives names and histories to those who often labor unnoticed -- leaning houses, washing dishes in restaurants, and installing security systems. Stunned to find themselves on the outskirts of American life where compromise and illusion meet, these forgotten individuals ache for more -- more love, more money, more passion, more dignity, more control over their lives. One paycheck away from destruction, one nightmare away from mental illness, they inhabit a fragile world balanced precariously between hope and calamity, tenaciously fighting for even the most tentative of human connections. Their lives are captured in this collection of compelling and exquisitely told stories.