In many ways, Carrie Parker is like any other eight-year-old: playing make-believe, dreading school, dreaming of faraway places. But even her imaginative mind can't shut out the realities of her impoverished North Carolina home or help her protect her younger sister, Emma.
Nine-year-old Carrie Parker and her mother, Libby, are making a fresh start in the small town of Hartsville, North Carolina, ready to put their turbulent past behind them. Violence has shattered their family and left Libby nearly unable to cope. And while Carrie once took comfort in her beloved sister, Emma, her mother has now forbidden even the mention of her name. When Carrie meets Ruth, Honor, and Cricket Chaplin, these three generations of warmhearted women seem to have the loving home Carrie has always dreamed of. But as Carrie and Cricket become fast friends, neither can escape the pull of their families' secrets.
While breaking the hottest news story of the year, broadcast journalist Isabel Murphy falls apart on live television in front of an audience of millions. She lands at Three Breezes, a four-star psychiatric hospital nicknamed the "nut hut", where she begins the painful process of recovering the life everyone thought she had. But accepting her place among her fellow patients proves difficult, and Isabel struggles to reconcile the fact that she is, indeed, one of them....