After Martha Manning a white, comfortably middle-class writer finishes delivering her gifts as part of the local Adopt-A-Family Christmas program she shakes off the discomfort of her visit by reassuring herself that she never has to do it again. But when the recipient of the gifts, Raina, a young African-American single mother with a toddler girl and twin infant boys, calls to thank Martha, a tentative friendship is born. What could have been overwhelming barriers to a meaningful friendship – Martha had never had a black friend, Raina had never had a white friend; there were awkward situations involving money – were overcome by their mutual need for each other. Martha provides a safety net of sorts for Raina by babysitting, helping her financially, and listening to her troubles; for her part, Raina and her exuberant children bring brightness and zest to Martha’s life that had been missing.
A Place to Land by Martha Manning is the beautiful and moving story of their journey together…as friends.