'Defining Moments’ is the story of Ellie Ward, a professor with a knack for making bad decisions at life’s crossroads, often with tragic consequences. At the age of nine, Ellie accidentally discovers a time portal near her childhood home, one that opens to her in situations of extreme trauma and emotion. Passing through the portal takes Ellie back in time to the key decision points that lead to her life’s tragedies, enabling her to change those decisions and avert the crises. The downside is that she never has any idea what the specific ‘defining moments’ were, and so she never knows how much of her life she is going to have to repeat to undo a bad situation.
River ice studies take Ellie to a remote town in Canada’s Northwest Territories, where she agrees to go along with three other people in a tiny, single engine plane to scout for ice jams. Ellie’s decision not to insist that they turn back before venturing too far from town becomes another defining moment in her life when their engine fails and they crash land in the bush. As the only able-bodied survivor Ellie’s graduate student, Brenda, must take on the burden of keeping the others safe as they wait for help to arrive. Fearing that Brenda will crumble under the emotional strain, Ellie shares her personal journal as a diversion. As the hours of waiting turn into days, Brenda immerses herself in Ellie’s autobiography, and we join with her in reading of Ellie’s multiple lives, loves, careers, passions and losses. Brenda is astonished to read that her professor has managed to go back and reverse those bad decisions that resulted in tragic outcomes. Is this actually possible, or is Ellie’s journal just a work of fiction? And if it is possible, and Ellie has found a way to rewind the clock to each defining moment in her life, will she live to get the chance to do it this time?
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