When Jensen Marie Christiansen rescues a bundle of half-charred, hundred-year-old letters written in Danish from her brother's bonfire, she has no idea what an impact history will have on her modern-day world.
Jensen's vintage house, a career designing and sewing handmade quilts, and her heartfelt desire to preserve her family's heritage all speak to her love of a bygone era. It's no wonder she is prone to romanticizing the past, given the ever-changing, uncertain future she faces. Her parents have moved to Arizona, her brother is cleaning out the attic of their century-old family home, and her soon-to-be ex-boyfriend has had a vasectomy without consulting her. Not to mention the fact that the only fabric store in a fifty mile radius is going out of business, and people who used to be her customers are flocking to the discount stores to buy cheap quilts from China.
It's midnight in Minnesota when Jensen logs onto the internet as "The Little Mermaid" hoping to find someone who understands how she feels; someone who will touch not only her body, but her soul.
It's daybreak in Denmark when Anders Westerlund dons his Ugly Duckling moniker and logs into a chat room to talk to his only son, Bjorn, who has recently moved to Seattle. Anders, an air-traffic controller whose parent company at Copenhagen International Airport has just been bought out by an American conglomerate, views his son's new job as one more reason to dislike Americans. When several of his co-workers are replaced by young American upstarts, his resentment towards the United States is fueled even more.
When The_Little_Mermaid meets Ugly_Duckling, it's love at first ... write. By the time Jensen and Anders discover she's on one side of the world and he's on the other, their hearts are tangled in a love affair as complex as the computers that brought them together. Even in a world full of technological miracles, it seems unlikely they can bridge the ocean of barriers that lie between them - until they start to read a hundred-year-old stack of sooty letters.
Frederik and Maren Jensen may have been different as night and day, but their marriage was a happy one ... Frederik tending his family's land near Copenhagen, Denmark, and Maren busy mothering her babies, quilting, and making Danish Wedding Cakes ... And then, one autumn day, the unthinkable happened ...
The only thing later generations of their family knew is that whatever happened affected Frederik so profoundly that he uprooted his family from the land he loved and brought them to America.
The world has changed in many ways over the course of a hundred years, but are Jensen and Anders about to learn that fairy-tales can still come true thanks to the modern-day magic of the internet ... or will borders and time conspire to keep a second set of lovers apart?