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The Taylor family is devastated by an accident that takes place on the day their matriarch is due to graduate from college -- decades after leaving to raise her children.

Michael Taylor is a New York based author of romance novels. The bent toward what is generally regarded as a female genre may be due to the strong relationship he has with his mother, Lisa Taylor, in large part a measure of survival against his tyrannical father, English professor Charles Taylor. The problem he's had with his father stems back as far as childhood, when he would do things purposefully to set his father off, knowing that some sort of retribution would be coming. Michael also has a strong relationship with his only slightly older aunt, Lisa's sister Jane, who lived with them one summer, the year Michael's sister, Ryne, was born. Michael and Jane's bond was also a joint front, similarly subversive, against Charles. Michael has divorced his wife Kelly, something he has told no one in the family except Jane. Michael's trip home to celebrate Lisa's graduation from college changes when Lisa is killed in a car accident, the result of a string of errors in judgment. Lisa's death adds an extra dimension to Michael's confusion about his feelings toward family as many issues will probably be buried with Lisa, the glue that held the family together, and she who kept many of the issues of the family solely to herself. Michael's latest book, an exposé of the family masquerading as fiction and meant as a means to cleanse himself from his past, is currently sitting with the publisher, although he has given Jane an advance copy of the manuscript. As Michael and Ryne pack up some of Lisa's belongings, Michael stumbles across some materials which may provide a road to reconciliation, and not only with Charles.


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