Synopses & Reviews
Meet Wilma Porter, the plucky and kindhearted owner of the only bed and breakfast in Ebb, Nebraska. Wilma knows everybody in town and everybody is in a bit of trouble. No one more so than Calvin Millet, though. His wife has up and left him and their ailing daughter. His department store is close to bankruptcy. His house has been destroyed by a tornado. The folks of Ebb, including Wilma and her indomitable gang of friends, watch Calvin's fortunes wane with great dismay, for in Ebb, everyone's fate is connected to his.
When a handsome stranger named Vernon L. Moore comes to town selling games of chance, more than a few eyebrows are raised. A consummate salesman, he befriends the troubled townspeople one by one. He listens to their stories and asks them intriguing questions that make them see their situations differently. The father of a dying child, the reclusive widow who's taken permanent board at the B & B, the banker with ulterior motives, and the outspoken Wilma Porter are all changed by their encounters with this mysterious man who seems not of this world. After all, no one has seen a traveling salesman in Ebb for more than thirty years. But wherever he's from and whoever he is, he leaves behind a town where second chances are not only possible, they can—and do—happen.
A "winsome fable....Its quirky charm and feminist slant could make it a surprise bestseller."
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review Kirkus Reviews
Reminiscent of "It's a Wonderful Life," this captivating novel is about the valuable lessons a small town learns from a mysterious traveling salesman.
"My name is Wilma Porter. I own the Come Again Bed and Breakfast, which is the only B & B in Ebb, Nebraska. You may think that I'm exaggerating, but this town is perched on a sad edge of a slippery slope. I went to church and wished to God I could help in some way, but He sent us a salesman. That's right, a salesman. At least that's my theory. You be the judge."
So begins this big-hearted novel about the importance of hope.
The folks of Ebb have seen their fair share of hardship, but no one more so than Calvin Millet. His wife has left him and his terminally ill young daughter. His department store, the last in the area, is close to bankruptcy. His house has been destroyed by a tornado. Everyone, including the plucky Wilma Porter, watches Calvin's fortunes wane with great interest for in Ebb everyone's fate is connected to his.
When Vernon L. Moore, a nattily dressed stranger, comes to town with the intention of selling games of chance to Millet's Department Store, more than a few eyebrows are raised. For one thing, no one's seen a traveling salesman in over thirty years. For another, he has a unique way of seeing things and an uncanny knack for asking life-altering questions. Although Mr. Moore leaves without making a sale, he leaves behind a town where second chances are not only possible, they can--and do--happen.
My name is Wilma Porter. I own the Come Again Bed and Breakfast, which is the only B & B in Ebb, Nebraska. You may thnk I'm exaggerating, but this town is perched on the sad edge of a slippery slope. I went to church and wished to God that I could help in some way. He sent us a salesman. That's right, a salesman. At least that's my theory. You be the judge.
So begins this entertaining and wise novel about how one man, using nothing but common sense and three simple arguments, changes the minds, hearts, and fortunes of an entire town.
About the Author
GEORGE SHAFFNER is the author of In the Land of Second Chances, which was a Book Sense Top Ten pick and a featured selection of the Literary Guild. He lives in Bellingham, Washington.