Palm tree at dawn, Patong beachBoca Raton, Florida is the primary setting for Between. It is where Carolyn lives, and where Barbara goes to die.Boca is a place unto itself. The beaches are heavenly, the roads are graced by glittering Bentley’s, the dining, shopping and people-watching is divine, and it is populated largely by transplanted New Yorkers. Some of its spandex-clad and surgically altered citizens are known in kinder circles as “Boca Babes.”When Barbara moves in, Carolyn converts her home into a command post. It is where she marshals her resources to create a peaceful and happy place for Barbara’s final months. She invites everyone into her home: the cantor to discuss funeral plans; the beautician who gives Barbara a haircut in bed; Barbara’s ex-husband and her former boss, who come to say farewell. Their friends from high school travel to Carolyn’s house from points north to spend a weekend with Barbara before she dies.

As Barbara nears the end, Carolyn transforms her home into a hospice. She recognizes the toll it may well take on her husband and sons—and on she herself—but knows it is something that she must do. The fact that it takes place in Boca Raton seems only fitting: it is pretty close to heaven on earth.

hippocratesHippocrates Health Institute is located on a 40-acre site in West Palm Beach, Florida and offers a wide spectrum of natural and holistic approaches to health and wellness. Check it out at
omegaOmega institute in Rhinebeck, New York was one of Barbara’s favorite places on earth. She
travelled there as often as she could to practice Tai-Chi and participate in workshops, like David Roth’s No Wrong Notes. You find out more about Omega at and catch-up with David Roth at
arcadiaArcadia University in Glenside, Pennsylvania—just outside of Philadelphia—used to be called Beaver College.  They changed the name to Arcadia to make it sound more dignified and less the target of tasteless jokes.  It’s a wonderful university with great teachers, and you can find out more at
stmarysSt. Mary’s Villa, about seven miles north of Arcadia, is a beautiful refuge for children from abusive homes.  If you are in the area, take a drive along Bethlehem Pike—between Highland and Butler Avenue in Ambler—and you’ll be able to see the castle from the road.  (Maybe you’ll be able to spot the massive Japanese lanterns that have the Stations of the Cross nailed to them.)  If you can’t see it in person, go to St. Mary’s Villa to get a sense of what this lovely place is like.