Timeline – All Who Are Lost (2001-2002)

The author strongly recommends that you read the first book in the Ashmore’s Folly Trilogy, All Who Are Lost, where all these events unfold. Some trilogies or series can be read out of order – this isn’t one of them. All the events in the two subsequent books build upon events that occur or are disclosed in All Who Are Lost.

As a refresher (and because the author happens to be a fan of timelines), you might want to review the summary below. All the events in Ashmore’s Folly take place in a definite time period.

Some of these events are hinted at during the first book and are more fully explained in the remainder of the trilogy. If you remember the events of All Who Are Lost, skip this.


Date Chapter Events
June 9, 2001 1: Ghost of a Girl In London on vacation, Richard and Julie Ashmore attend a Cat Courtney concert and go backstage afterwards to try to see Laura. A guard thinks that Julie is “Meg,” but when the guard finds that they are not on the approved list of visitors, they are asked to leave. On the way out, they see Cameron St. Bride, who tells them that Laura’s family is dead and that he is all the family she needs. Back at the hotel, Richard Ashmore removes his wedding ring on this, his 17th anniversary, and remembers the last time he saw Laura.
August 2001-September 8, 2001 2: What Comes Around News stories concerning the murder of Dominic Abbott, the arrest of Diana Ashmore for his murder and her subsequent release for lack of evidence. Julie writes a fax to Cameron St. Bride asking him to have her aunt Laura get in touch with her sisters.
September 9-11, 2001 3: The Day Cam visits Laura and Meg in London on Laura’s 31st birthday and gives her Julie’s fax. Startled and unnerved by this voice from the past, Laura decides to go back to Virginia as soon as she can. Cam, opposed to her decision, tells her that he has to leave for New York but will return the next weekend. He makes his meeting at the top of the World Trade Center but receives a call from his brother Mark and does not take the elevator with the rest of his party. In London, Laura, along with the rest of the world, witnesses his death. That evening, Richard Ashmore sees Cam’s picture on the news and sends Laura a message. Always know that you can come home.
September 12, 2001 – March 11, 2002 4: After Laura and Meg cope with the aftermath of their loss on September 11. Laura learns that Cam left her 1/3 of his estate, amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars, but he left Mark as her trustee until she turns 35 or remarries. Mark is also left as trustee over Cat Courtney, Inc. Returning to London, Laura attempts to go on: starring in a play, taking care of Meg, battling tension headaches, trying to dodge Mark’s unwelcome interest. On Christmas Day, she succumbs to temptation and calls Richard Ashmore, only to hang up as soon as she hears his voice. A couple of months later, she researches him online, trying to find out what he has done with his life; she orders a book he wrote on architecture and cuts out his picture. She doesn’t want to admit to herself that she is still as obsessed with him as she was when she was young. In March, she and Meg join the St. Brides in NYC to visit Ground Zero; Cam’s body has never been found, so this is a pilgrimage to his grave. That evening, Mark makes his interest and intentions clear to Laura and makes an unwelcome advance. Laura tells him that she is not ready for anything and then asks him if he and Emma can take Meg for the summer. She is going home to Virginia.
June 14, 2002 5: The Journey Home Laura goes back to Virginia and loses her nerve at the door of the Folly. Later, at her late father’s house, she intercepts an angry phone call from Richard to Diana; Richard has mistaken Laura, whom he saw earlier at Ashmore Park, for his estranged wife. She encounters an intruder who turns out to be Kevin Stone, Diana’s attorney, who tells her that he intends to marry Diana. Laura leaves hurriedly but realizes later that she has left clues to her whereabouts. At his office, Richard Ashmore receives a disturbing telephone call and leaves. When Laura returns to her hotel, she finds Richard waiting for her. “Oh, dear girl, welcome home.”
June 14, 2002 6: Blue Eyes, Dark Heart Laura and Richard talk in her suite; he expresses sympathy for Cam’s death, she tells him of her sorrow at his parents’ death. Richard sees a picture of Meg. Later, at dinner, they touch on the problems with their respective marriages. Richard asks her to dance but cuts the dance short when they get too close to each other. He challenges her about the reason for her running away from home. Flashback to her time in San Francisco (see Back Story Timeline, June 11, 1988 to August 6, 1991). When he asks her where Francie is, she tells him coldly that Francie bled to death in Virginia 11 years before, after Richard left her. Alone at his home, Richard remembers his shock at seeing Meg’s picture and realizing that she is the spitting image of his mother at that age. He decides to avoid Laura, concerned about the attraction between them.
June 15, 2002 7: Upon That Shore Laura goes to Ash Marine and remembers the day she lost Francie.
June 15, 2002 8: Three Little Maids Are We Laura reunites with Lucy at the Tavern. When Diana comes in, she initially mistakes Laura for Francie, but settles down once she realizes it is not the sister she hated so much. During their conversation, Lucy gently blackmails Laura into doing a benefit for the NICU at the hospital; Laura resists until she finds out that Lucy is pregnant after a devastating stillbirth the year before. Before they leave, Diana asks where Francie is, and Laura snaps at her, inadvertently revealing Francie’s affair with Richard. She learns from Lucy that no one has actually ever confirmed the affair. That evening, she spies on Richard and Julie at Ashmore Park, feeling desolate and lonely when she sees the obvious affection between father and daughter. She decides to do the benefit for Lucy.
June 15, 2002 9: Diana, Beginning Diana starts to tell her story and talks of her desire to smash Richard’s face in.
June 20-21, 2002 10: Blood Between Us, Love Richard comes to see Laura, and she invites him to have dinner with her. He decides to use that time to learn what he can about Meg. When the conversation turns to Diana and her alcoholism/addictions, Laura says to Richard that eventually those addictions will kill Diana. “Convenient for you — you’ll be rid of her yet.” Furious, he goes after her, despite her obvious horror at her own words. She begs him to tell her what went wrong between him and Diana so that she can understand what led to the affair with Francie. He snaps at her that Diana destroyed his heart, and he walks off. Laura, conscience-stricken, tries to apologize but can’t reach him. Lucy tells her grimly that they need to talk, because she and Richard have spoken, and she knows what Laura said to him.
June 2002 11: Diana, Not in Love Diana talks about her early relationship with Richard Ashmore, including the unwelcome and short-lived pregnancy in high school that she kept from him.
June 26, 2002 12: Said the Spider to the Fly Lucy confronts Laura about her feelings for Richard and tells her to stay away from him. “If he wants a woman, he’ll find one. But not you, Laurie.” Laura realizes that she has never grown out of her childish infatuation with Richard but knows that they must reconcile their differences for the sake of the family. She goes to Ashmore Park to see him, but feels the tension between them and realizes that both of them are feeling a dangerous attraction. But he will never do anything about it: I’m the one woman in the world you mustn’t feel anything for.
June 27, 2002 13: Girl, Eavesdropping Laura meets Julie and is stunned to find out that she is the image of Diana at that age. While Julie gets ready to go out for the day with her aunt, Laura and Richard have a tense discussion about Julie; Richard is concerned that Laura will tell Julie about Francie, and Laura furiously tells him that she would never hurt her niece to get back at him. She sees a drawing in his portfolio that she mistakenly assumes is Francie, since it shows a woman greeting a lover; he tells her that it is actually her and implies that it is based on one of her album covers. Julie eavesdrops on the entire conversation. During the day, Laura realizes that sweet, innocent Julie is a fraud; she pretends to be the perfect daughter but is in reality an astute and savvy observer of the adults around her. That night, Julie waits until her father is sleeping to look at the drawing that had so alarmed Laura. When she turns it over to see when he drew it, she sees the legend: Laura. Ash Marine. 8/6/1991.
June 28, 2002 14: Ancient Crimes At Dominic’s house, Laura helps Diana clean out his room. Laura finds a box of checks that show that Cam supported Dominic monthly for years. Later, she and Diana find a cache of their mother’s haute couture dresses and try them on, enjoying a sisterly camaraderie that they had never had before. But when Diana makes a comment about Ash Marine, Laura remembers Diana’s part in Francie’s death and accuses her of killing their sister. Diana, stunned, tries to defend herself, and Laura begins to doubt what she has always believed. Faced with the idea that Dominic may have been involved, Diana flees the room and tries to slit her wrists. Laura takes her to the hospital and later back to Diana’s condo, where she takes care of her and puts her to bed. While Diana sleeps, Laura ransacks the apartment to get rid of Diana’s liquor and drugs. During her search, she finds the papers in the custody lawsuit that Richard filed against Diana 11 years before and realizes, for the first time, the secret behind Julie’s paternity. Her entire view of Richard begins to shift as she sees how terribly she has misjudged him.
June 2002 15: Diana, Mrs. Ashmore Diana tells the story of her wedding and marriage to Richard: great honeymoon, a few good months, a tense first year that deteriorated into drugs, fights, and a second unwanted pregnancy. At the end, Diana copes by yelling at Richard and disclosing the paternity of her unwelcome passenger.
June 28, 2002 16: Knocking on Forbidden Doors Richard and Laura quarrel after he discovers that she talked about Francie to Diana, resulting in Diana’s attempted suicide. She lashes out at him; he shouts back that she is out to make everyone suffer because she is jealous. Horrified and feeling stripped bare at his accusation, Laura admits that she was jealous of Francie for taking Richard away. This startles him, as he thought she was jealous of him for taking Francie away. She confesses to him her deep feelings for him and breaks down. Trying to comfort her, he kisses her, and passion flares up between them. But he turns away from her, saying that he has already been “down that road” and does not want to come between Diana and her sisters again. He takes the high road and walks away. Laura, lost in pain, collapses.
June 28, 2002 17: Here Be Dragons Returning home after leaving Laura, Richard learns of Diana’s subpoena to Laura and decides to file for divorce. Realizing that he has left Laura alone to deal with the aftermath of rejection, he goes back to her, and what starts out as comfort catches fire and consumes them both. During their lovemaking, Laura flashes back to the time eleven years before on Ash Marine, when she pretended to be Francie and seduced him, only to have him turn on her when he discovered she was married. She remembers trying to kill him; in horror, she freezes up and fakes her reaction to him in the present. “Ah, Cat. Another lovely performance.”
June 29, 2002 18: Falling Off the Edge The morning after: Richard tells Laura they have to talk. He tells her that he didn’t intend to make love to her when he came back, but now that they have, things have changed. He lays out their choices: decide that they were only experimenting and go on, or take a chance on each other. She wants to take the chance. He asks her to go away for the weekend with him. En route, she remembers the moment when he first held Julie; his reluctance and awkwardness now makes sense to her in light of the discovery of Diana’s papers. Julie, having wondered through the night where her father was, is sent over to Lucy’s for the weekend and “innocently” lets the cat out of the bag about Richard filing for divorce. Lucy and Tom discuss the divorce petition. Lucy wants to know why Richard is doing this now instead of waiting for Julie to turn 18; within minutes, she has deduced that there is a child involved and that the child is already born. Seconds later, she makes the connection to Meg, not knowing that Julie had followed her and has overheard everything.
June 2002 19: Diana, Treading Water Diana continues her story: Julie’s birth, Richard’s initial desire to have nothing to do with the baby, his growing love for his “daughter.”  Diana has created her own rival. Throughout their college years, Diana and Richard live in an armed camp. Lucy notices that Laura is obsessed with making money and wants to know why. Richard, finishing up his master’s, asks Laura to type his thesis, but she comes down with the flu. Francie volunteers to type it instead. In that sneeze lay the end of our marriage.
June 29, 2002 20: Nocturne Diana escapes her nurse and goes to confront Laura at Edwards Lake, only to find that Laura is MIA for the weekend. Laura learns that Richard is a charming flirt in bed, but her enjoyment goes south when she finds the remnant of her violent act 11 years before. Leaving Edwards Lake, Diana trips, falls, and loses something she does not want anyone else to have.
June 2002 21: Diana, Discovering Diana sees but does not understand when she comes back from a musical gig on New Year’s Day and finds Richard hung over and upset. Francie makes a comment that reminds him of the fissure in his marriage. Unknown to Diana, they embark on an affair during his last semester in grad school. Diana does notice that Laura, hitherto his great ally, seems upset with him. While packing to move back to Williamsburg, Diana finds a sexy tape that Francie made for Richard and realizes what has been going on. She tracks the two of them to Richmond and confronts them in a park. After a heated argument with Richard, she returns home, and they do not speak until Dominic calls looking for Francie and Laura. The girls have disappeared off the face of the earth. Richard tries to find them, to no avail. Diana learns that Lucy has known all along and did nothing to stop either Francie or Richard, and they quarrel. Philip persuades Diana to stay with Richard for Julie’s sake.
June 30, 2002 22: Sex, Lies, and Thomas Jefferson At Monticello, Laura and Richard enjoy their morning until a couple of bimbettes hanging around him prompt her to utter the words she will regret for the rest of her life: “I’m his mistress.” In the summerhouse, Richard insists that they talk about Francie. She learns that he regrets Francie and feels ashamed of the affair. He tells her that, after she and Francie left, he had to deal with the debris of what he had done (loss of his father’s regard, loss of his own self-respect) and that, in the end, Francie had made him a better man because he had had to deal with his own moral failure. Laura learns that Francie lied about many of the details of the affair — it was anything but a grand romance. Richard tells her briefly of the three women he got involved with after he and Diana separated but that he never felt sufficient love for any of them that warranted ending his marriage. After he finishes telling her, he gives her an ultimatum; she either gets over her jealousy of Francie, or they go their separate ways. “I cannot deal with another scene like that.” Laura realizes that she, not he, is trapped in the past and tells him that, inside, she still feels like that 17-year-old girl who was on the outside. The loser. She says that she will not let him go. Everything has shifted between them: “We are well and truly caught.” Whatever happens, “we stand together.” Before they leave Monticello, Richard teasingly tells her that “I want my mistress.” He intends to hold her remark over her head for the next fifty years. She tells him to “take me home,” where they finally make love without pretense.
June 2002 23: Diana, Smashing After college, Diana and Richard return to Williamsburg with Julie. Richard settles into his architectural career; Jack Daniels becomes Diana’s best friend. Julie develops into even more of a daddy’s girl, and Diana discovers that Richard has found faith after his great folly with Francie. In an attempt to reconcile with her husband, Diana tells Richard that she wants to have another child. This prompts a fevered seduction scene between the two of them that ends with Richard dumping her off his lap, Diana screaming at him about his infidelity, Richard telling her that he does not want her driving Julie around because of her drinking, Diana realizing her dream of rearranging his face, Richard cutting her down to size, and Diana smashing everything in his workroom. She leaves for a lost weekend. When she returns, Richard has changed the locks and tells her that she no longer lives there. Diana returns to her father’s house, glad to be rid of the marriage. Richard sues her for custody, and Diana decides: War.
June 30, 2002 24: Eyes Only Meg finds the last letter Cam ever wrote on his laptop, and her world and identity fall apart. Reeling with this new reality, she researches the man she now knows to be her father: Richard Ashmore.