Sixteen-year-old Courtney was paralyzed in the accident. Never again will she walk, dance, run, or even leave the convalescent home where she lies in a bed, surrounded by the elderly and dying. Or will she? When the elderly Elva asks her new roommate to read to her from the 1910 edition of Baedeker's Italy, Courtney reluctantly agrees. Each afternoon, for a short time, the two escape back in time from the darkness of winter in North Dakota. Where there seemed none, together they will find adventure, poetry, beauty, love, and most of all, hope.