When her least favorite brother-in-law and his wife crash Sarah and Gus Haldemann’s peaceful vacation, Sarah struggles to find patience. Maggie seeks artistic validation at the expense of her marriage, and Dietrich just wants to understand how and why his wife jumped on board the crazy train.
The unexpected presence of Sarah’s parents and sister after nearly six years of silence puts unwelcome pressure on her to garner their approval. In the face of her mother’s cold disdain, Sarah finds herself slipping back into submissive behaviors that aggravate and shame her.
Then Gus’s ex-lover Gretchen arrives, also without invitation and bringing with her a mother-daughter feud with her firstborn, Luci, amping up the tension to a nearly unbearable level.
Luci is searching for a way to break free of her mother’s chaotic life. The only place she feels she truly belonged was with Gus, and she would do anything – including abandon her sisters to her mother’s dubious care – to reclaim her happy childhood home.
In Luci, Sarah sees shades of herself as a child. As they forge a bond, Luci’s relationship with Gretchen further deteriorates and Irene Quinn’s disapproval escalates.
As the “perfect storm” descends on her home, Sarah struggles to find grace, forgiveness, and a modicum of tolerance – as well as a little bit of privacy – in a house packed to the rafters and teeming with angst. (Follow-up novel to The Secret Dreams of Sarah-Jane Quinn)