Katie, her mother, Caroline, and her grandmother, Mary, all have secrets. Mary, who has Alzheimer’s, moves in with Katie and Caroline, and Katie soon feels drawn to her. Katie becomes determined to get to the bottom of the mysteries that are at the root of Mary’s estrangement from the family.
Katie’s life is falling apart: her best friend thinks she’s a freak, her mother, Caroline, controls every aspect of her life, and her estranged grandmother, Mary, appears as if out of nowhere. Mary has dementia and needs lots of care, and when Katie starts putting together Mary’s life story, secrets and lies are uncovered: Mary’s illegitimate baby, her zest for life and freedom and men; the way she lived her life to the full yet suffered huge sacrifices along the way. As the relationship between Mary and Caroline is explored, Katie begins to understand her own mother’s behavior, and from that insight, the terrors about her sexuality, her future, and her younger brother are all put into perspective.
Cis girls: Katie, Caroline, Mary, Pat.
Heterosexual: Pat, Mary, Caroline
Not explicitly mentioned.
All the characters are white.
Katie’s father rejects her brother Chris because of his cognitive disability.