In this hilarious, coming of age again novel, set in the eighties, Abby Copenhaven is a forty-nine-year-old Southern, former beauty queen, writer, and pageant judge. Throughout her crazy predicaments on the rural pageant circuit, she makes everything into an omen to change her life.
The contestants are an endless supply of material for her comic sarcasm. Anecdotes of former pageant years provide a glimpse into a less secure and more complicated Abby. People she has loved along the way raise her expectations in life. Francine, a Sea Island woman who speaks Gullah, and Bernice, a retired rodeo rider, add to her understanding of those outside the shallow beauty arena. Still, her favorite companion is a Bernese Mountain dog, her buffer against the outside world.
When she meets charismatic Texas attorney, Tom Ross, he confuses her search for omens with an electric physical attraction neither has felt before. But once her critical juices start flowing, Abby finds it hard to stop judging and embrace a love and life she could never have imagined.