As Marnie disappears into dementia, her daughter finds solace in an unexpected place. A rawly moving look at loss, identity, and the strength we draw from being allowed to care for another person.
Maxine Whitshaw, a middle-aged copyeditor frustrated with her humdrum existence, wins a lottery for a trip to the moon alongside the rich and famous. But once she leaves her husband in charge of their two boys in order to take flight, she lets go not only of gravity, but of the rules and expectations that have been guiding her all along.
A neighborhood scold and avid dog walker, Melanie has had to deal with her absconding husband, her empty nest, and now the neighborhood's teenage speed demon. When their paths cross - for better and worse - she comes to see what she's really been trying to control.
Forty years after her son's tragic death, Betty tells the story to a fellow traveler in Ireland. Interspersed with her version of events, we hear her son, Stephen, telling us his own story of longing and loss and about the lunge at life that became his undoing.
Dragged to a speed dating event by her best friend, newly separated Tacie finds herself learning more about the reasons for her own failed relationship than she bargained for.
After running away from her drug kingpin boyfriend (and turning him in to the cops), pregnant Amber hides away in her friend Higgins' house. Higgins works at a convalescent facility and writes morbid short stories, but she feels safe - until both her body and Higgins start to change on her. On Halloween night, it becomes clear who is wearing a disguise and why.
Ann's baby sister, Lynne, was the beautiful one, the lucky one, the one who grabbed at whatever better life she thought she could get. But when Ann is awakened one night by the unexpected arrival of her young niece, Deena, she's faced with the fact that she may be the one to live out the consequences of her sister's choices.
Living in the present as well as the past, Montserrat de la Rosa plans a grand escape from her assisted living community, banking on the help of her deceased husband.
After her husband Simon is killed by a teenaged drunk driver, Dana moves to a new city with her two young boys. Stunned by the newness of everything around her, Dana finds familiarity in an unexpected place.
Though the conditional, erratic love she finds amidst the aisles and in the stockroom of a MaxRight grocery store is better than anything she's had before, Anna knows that if she wants to change her life she needs to start by changing her relationship to her married boss.
"Hard truth, beautifully told"
Helping her girlfriend dig through a hoarder's garage, an unnamed narrator with an inimitable voice ushers us into a world that is somehow both shadowy and vivid, tragically dark and life-affirmingly funny - a psychological funhouse full of tricks and sleights of hands. As she peels back the layers of three lives lived in fear, she's forced to decide how much to let her past determine her future.