With her mother gone and her father out of her life, when Annie Culligan loses her Grandma Emma, she loses her entire family. With nothing to hold her in tiny Mt. Gilead, Ohio, she heads west to Nevada City, California, with her grandmothers worn leather suitcase and fresh new teaching credentials in hand. Renting a room from a gentle widow, she ventures into a new life and finds friendship and a feeling of family that she thought shed lost. As a first-year science teacher, Annie gives much more to her students than an educationshe gives them acceptance and respect. Even as her friendship with school psychologist Tom Phillips begins to blossom, a painful, long-suppressed secret from her past threatens to devastate her newfound joy. Will Annie confront and overcome the shadows that have followed her throughout her life?The answer will depend on her willingness to forgive and to trust God with her futurea lesson that will stretch her to her very limits. Lessons is a celebration of the truth that when we are willing to let go of the hurt and resentment we so often harbor in our hearts, God is free to pour joy into the void.