With the holiday season drawing near, the ladies of Hope Springs, North Carolina, are making plans for a cake cookbook a project that will hopefully lift the spirits of a beloved member of their close-knit quartet. But Margaret Peele is downhearted and uninspired now that her cancer has returned. All she wants this Christmas is to visit her mother's Texas hometown . . . and to see their absent friend, pastor Charlotte Stewart, who left Hope Springs to run a battered women's shelter. So impulsive Beatrice Newgarden Witherspoon commandeers a very inappropriate but comfortable van to transport Margaret, Louise Fisher, and Jessie Jenkins across the country for a Lone Star State reunion with Charlotte. And over the course of a remarkable journey they will rediscover the greatest Christmas gift of all: eternal friendship."