The title story tells of Marian Nakamura who pickles the fallen pears to remember a husband who took a fatal fall from an upper branch of a pear tree. The story won a place on the final ten list of a 2010 The New Yorker magazine competition. In another story a Minnesota woman learns to paint in Santa Fe and finds acclaim for her colorful canvases, only to walk away from them. A native American artist paints a cathedral scene, loosing the powers of old spirits. An even more notable force breaks into a fourth painter’s life, the ancient Old Goddess wanting a place in the new world.