1937/1953/1975/1999/2017 – Canada
When his father dies during the Great Depression, Ray Matthews is forced to drop out of art school to support his mother and sister as a jigsaw puzzle artist. Ray has only one painting he vows never to sell: the portrait of his beloved sweetheart. When pressured to break his oath, Ray sends the painting off with a promise and a prophecy. Through eight decades, the puzzle of the beautiful girl at the wishing well passes through four households, deeply affecting each without ever being fully completed.
When Leesha Pennington’s weekly treasure hunt at her local thrift shop produces an old jigsaw puzzle that might be worth something, she adds it to her shopping cart despite the old man’s mysterious warning: “Be careful with that one. Some puzzles don’t like to be solved.” Her decision sets in motion a chain of events that causes all five stories to converge.
With powerful themes of family relationships and self-sacrifice, this story is part allegory/part metaphor, rooted in real life.