TO LOVE AND BE LOVED IN RETURN
By Layne Gray
[UPDATED JANUARY 7, 2016]
1. Entrance exam to Finedale is game of Twister. Grace has become very good at determining which couples will go to which camps just by the looks they give each other. She, Dr. Snyder and Gigi, watch the Twister game behind a two-way mirror.
2. Peter writes a book on the financial world and the cozy relationship within the M&A field including the well-known but secret world of IPO stock flipping to benefit ‘friends and family’ (but against individual and institutional investors who buy IPO stock on the open market). He is helping out with Finedale and the financials.
3. Grace continues to meet individually with Dr. Snyder when she’s at Finedale, which she splits her time there and in the city (SF). She talks to the psychiatrist/psychologist about the status of her relationship with Ross, the new mayor of San Francisco. When prodded she also talks about a long-lost love who was pre-Peter – Henrik, and the effect that relationship has had on her other relationships. Additionally she discusses how Finedale has lost its core which, despite Lucille’s ulterior motives, helped women who wanted to move on with their lives. A positive outcome from a twisted purpose.
4. Ross has been mayor for a little over a year. He and Grace go out and he asks her about her intentions with him. She is unsure given that she is insecure about her failed marriage and renewed thoughts about her long-lost love, Henrik.
5. It is discovered that ‘swinging’ has been going on at Finedale and there’s a social media undercurrent that couples who are unsure of their future and want to venture into the swinging culture should sign up for the one-week course at Finedale. Grace is mortified.
6. Nick gets accepted to Harvard in their music program as well as Julliard and cannot decide. Peter encourages him to chose his alma mater – Harvard.
7. Grace calls a meeting of the Board of Finedale and proposes it gets turned back into a women’s only retreat. Peter is a non-voting member but protests the change since he has invested a quarter million and doesn’t want it to be an anti-husband proposition.
8. Peter strongly suggests Nick attend Harvard, his alma mater, and meets with Grace to push her to agree so they are a united force. She reluctantly does so but questions whether she’s compromised herself to ‘tow the line’.
9. Gigi is in charge of special events at Finedale. She has created a regular wine tasting event that has created a revenue stream of monthly wines sent out the past guests. Winemakers love it because its an easy advertising method to gain net-new audience.
10. George and Joyce get married which Gigi has produced the wedding. They do itat Finedale in the lavender field. Nick composes a song and sings it with Camille at the wedding. During the reception the two of them sneak off.
11. The team of friends plans the re-launch of Finedale with Brett doing the PR.
12. As part of the PR launch Grace is interviewed by a well-known women’s blog, BlogHer, that is picked up by a lot of other on-line portals, including Huffington Post, Yahoo Shine, and many others. The focus of the interview is about what she’s done with Finedale and helping discarded wives, which catapults Grace as an expert on mid-life ‘re-invention’. An offhanded comment about being a victim and ‘#womenslives matter’ creates a firestorm as to the diference between the plight of wealthy women who can afford to attend Finedale versus those poverty-stricken black women who don’t have that option.
13. Grace meets with the Board and suggests that a reserve be set aside so that 10% of all Finedale attendees be given scholarships. They hold off until they get it back up and running consistently. The Board includes Grace, Gigi, Debbie and Peter.
14. Peter finishes his book and initially self-publishes. Has a launch party that, reluctantly, he lets Gigi plan. Shades of Grace’s launch of Nick-of-Fine come forward. SEC is there undercover.
15. Ross has been asked to distance himself from Grace because of some of the comments she’s made. The powers-to-be in the Democratic Party suggest he marry ‘a nice African American woman’. He is indignant. Grace is shocked by the reverse discrimination. They break off their relationship.
16. Nick asks his mom to go to dinner with him on a school night after his band practice. There he tells her that Camille is pregnant. Grace is surprised but agrees that this era is different than a generation ago. Nick acknowledges her response but confides that Camille feels strongly about carrying full-term.
17. Grace’s initial interview goes viral and she becomes the poster child for mid-life women. She is invited to speak in London at a ‘women’s leadership conference’ and is also invited to be on the morning show ‘Sky1’.
18. Brett and Grace meet to discuss Camille and Nick. Grace pressures Brett to encourage Camille to have an abortion. Brett agrees but insists its Camille’s choice. Camille was planning to take a gap year before heading to Notre Dame, which she deferred for a year. Grace reminds Brett that Camille is 17 although Brett points out that her daughter will be 18 by the time the child is born.
19. Grace is not used to being on television and takes a shot of vodka and Xanax to calm her nerves. During the televised interview she talks about the loves of her life a bit more than she should divulge – it’s cringe-worthy. Grace says she could have married three men, including Peter as one of them. Returning to the hotel she is handed at the front desk an envelope with a typed note inside that states, “1, 2, or 3? – Henrik”.
20. Henrik and Grace go out to dinner. The tension is palpable but nothing happens. On her flight home, Grace reminisces about the first time they met and where they stayed out in the countryside.
21. After arriving back in SF Peter and Grace meet. Peter tells Grace she’s been a bad mother despite all the press about how great she is. She should have been there for Nick. They fight and Grace suggests Peter should have taught Nick how to use a condom.
22. Gigi talks to Grace about events and how she’s been invited by several alumni to help with their personal events. Her line to all potential clients, “I don’t work on budget,” and they want her even more. Gigi takes Grace to see one of the holiday decors she did for a client in Ross, in Marin, and it’s over the top.
23. Brett and Grace meet with Camille together. Camille explains she doesn’t plan to keep the baby but can help couples who cannot have kids. For example, gay couples. She acknowledges that her father is gay and as happy as she is that he married her mother, if he had been himself and sought a partner they would have loved to have a healthy young woman like her give them a baby.
24. Because of the press on Grace Finedale becomes increasingly popular with a wait list to get in. Grace gets a phone call from Debbie who has left the FBI and co-founded a venture capital firm that focuses on cyber security start-ups as well as female-run companies.
25. George’s first vintage of his Chardonnay, in the Burgundian style, is well-received. He names it Domaine Marie in honor of Grace’s mom. Nick designs the label.
26. Grace and Debbie meet. Debbie tells Grace of a competing spa her researcher has discovered called Sierra Spa for Women outside Reno, NV. Grace mentions the scholarships for disadvantaged women to which Debbie loves the idea and they can, perhaps, become a B Corp. They settle on a roll-out of three in the next 18 months – country locations within an hour of the three cities with the highest per capita divorce rates: New York, L.A. and Dallas [verify].
27. Grace receives an email that Henrik has a Board meeting in Chicago and is going to ‘swing by’ SF on his way home to London. He sends her the link to the review he did of Peter’s book for a London management magazine and its not a particularly positive review. Grace is surprised and asks him if he knew it was Peter. He says he did but not until after he had read the book. She sends Peter a WTF email and he’s shocked re the connection.
28. Debbie gets back to Grace with her findings about the Sierra Spa. Ends up the reason women are flocking there is because they’re all having incredible sex. But Debbie finds out its completely legal. The state of Nevada allows for and regulates legal ‘brothels’. The reason she hadn’t figured that out before because it was a shell in the Cayman Islands and it wasn’t important enough. And Debbie has uncovered more - the person behind it is Lucille.
29. Henrik and Grace have dinner in Napa Valley. Because of her notoriety he suggests she write a self-help book. He has written several management books himself. Perhaps the two of them could go away to Skibo Castle like they did all those years ago. She reminds him that he was two days late due to his work to which he responds ‘yes, but that twenty four hours we did have was pretty spectacular.’ She wants to talk to him about their relationship. Grace discusses the irony of Henrik reviewing Peter’s book – tells him that it was he who was invited to Brett’s wedding but he left instead which is when she met Peter. Henrik shows Grace Peter’s nasty email to the editor of the magazine threatening collusion for writing the poor review even though Peter had thanked Henrik before knowing the connection with Grace. The discussion about their relationship never comes up and she feels very lonely when she leaves.
30. Grace and Debbie take a trip out to Sierra Spa for Women to check out the competition. It’s completely fenced off with high security wiring, just like Finedale had been. So they buy a drone at Walmart in Reno and set back to fly it overhead to see the lay-out which turns out to be, not surprisingly, a beautiful oasis in the desert. They wonder where Lucille got the money and how she got it going so fast. Ends up all the buildings are built out of shipping containers. They don’t have to wonder long since Lucille comes to meet them where they are stationed to navigate their drone. Grace discusses her relationship with Henrik and Debbie gives her practical advice on their way to/from Reno.
31. At her apartment that evening Grace watches Henrik’s plane take off over the Golden Gate Bridge, knowing its quite possible she will never see him again and she cries.
32. Gigi is served papers from her ex for making too much money to garner continued alimony. Gigi has to decide whether to quit her new business or give up the alimony. She shows Grace a new app she’s creating that Brett’s son, Cecil, Jr. is developing that is like Tinder for events.
33. Grace receives a note from Lucille to meet. That perhaps they can team up rather than compete. Grace realizes that with the expansion plans she needs someone top-notch at the helm and she does respect Lucille. Grace talks to Debbie about it and Debbie tells her to take the meeting but to not mention Debbie’s involvement.
34. Grace meets with Lucille. She discusses the opportunity to work together. Grace insists that if they were to do so that there’d need to be scholarships for disadvantaged wives. Lucille balks but then agrees.
35. Nick is volunteering in Africa that summer. He’s decided to attend Harvard where he knows he’ll get the better education. Grace has had a promotional voucher from Skibo Castle to come back and see if she’d like to join the Carnegie Club. So she decides to take a much-needed vacation before everything gets going with the expansion plan and, on a whim, heads to Scotland to start writing her self-help book. She invites Henrik to meet her and she doesn’t hear back from him.
36. Grace is at Skibo Castle and Henrik shows up. She’s torn – he has two kids and a long-term live-in girlfriend and she has a successful future.
37. Grace gets a text. It’s from Brett. Camille had a miscarriage on her 18th birthday. Nick is in-transit on his way back and Grace asks Brett if she should come home to which Brett responds, no.
38. Gigi ‘s new app is listed as one of the top new apps in the iTunes App Store. She has an inquiry from Yahoo! to purchase it. Grace recommends Gigi seek Debbie’s advice who strongly encourages Gigi to sell! Gigi ends up getting $10M from Yahoo!
39. Grace decides that rather than write a book right now she’ll do Q&A on her blog which will create enough material for a book someday as her audience, which is already over 10,000, engages. She’s become so good at determining who will make it and who will not that she’s gone totally viral. She meets with Debbie and signs the documentation to roll-out Finedale with Lucille as a minor stakeholder, along with the other initial investors. The pre-money valuation is $100M and Grace’s share is 33%. All initial investors are happy because their investments have increased 5x. Grace talks exit strategy within a five year timeframe. It makes her sad because it means she’s not moving forward with Henrik. At least not for now…
OVERVIEW OF CHARACTERS
The story is set two years later from where the last book concluded.
- 49 years old
- Running Finedale
- Still dating Jane more and more
- Jane is saying things to Peter to create more friction between him and Grace
- Peter writes a book on the M&A industry
- He becomes mayor
- He is considered for national office by the party
- He is given religion by the higher-ups in democratic circles i.e. Dianne Feinstein and Willie Brown
- about who he will, and will not, support (like Gavin Newsom was)
- they ‘suggest’ he seek an African American wife rather than caucasian
- it hurts Grace
- raises a national debate on race relations and reverse discrimination
- Has left the FBI and co-founded her own venture capital firm primarily focused on cyber security start-ups as well as women-run start-ups
- Has a second child
- Produces the events for Finedale
- Creates regular Wine Tasting events which turns into a revenue stream for Finedale
- Starts her own agency because of the various Finedale alumni who ask her to produce events for them
- Creates an app that is ‘tinder for events’
- Helps with PR for Finedale
- Otherwise has her hands full with the children
- Is a senior in high school
- Has continued to compose his own music and has one song that has become a radio hit titled ‘Come on, Camille’
- Gets accepted to both Harvard and, which he applied to on a fluke, Julliard
- Is also a senior in High School
- Is going to go to Notre Dame but defers a year
- Is still very religious
- Came back and has started a competing spa like Finedale
- Annie, her daughter, has joined the Peace Corps
- She has softened but is still tough
Other lesser characters back:
- Dr. Snyder who teaches at Finedale and is Grace’s therapist
- Hanna Karp who teaches at Finedale on career planning
- George: Grace’s father who is a winemaker
- Joyce: marries George
- Jane: still dating Peter
- Long-lost love of Grace’s far before Peter entered the picture
- Lives in London with his long-term girlfriend and their two sons – has stated he will never formally marry her
- There’s still a spark between he and Grace
- He was formerly a merchant banker and has written several successful books on management
CHARACTERS NOT BACK IN THE SECOND BOOK