“Gilchrist excels in drawing the bonds of love and resentment in sexual and family relationships, and no one who encounters her characters here or in her earlier works will want to miss reading about them again.” —Publishers Weekly
To Anna Hand, death happens when you allow it to.
An accomplished author with a string of devoted lovers, Anna Hand savors life in all of its bittersweet, fleeting moments. So when she gets a letter from the illegitimate child of her brother, she sees a major part of life that has passed her by, a child to love. Desperate to unite this young girl with her father, Anna moves back to Charlotte, North Carolina, to rediscover her family and convince her brother to accept the daughter he knew nothing about.
Caught between the politics of her uppercrust family and love for a married man, Anna finds her health in serious danger. When Anna's bad days catch up with her good ones, she must finally face the disease that had been hiding just beneath the surface. Not willing to resign herself to months of aggressive treatment, and knowing the outcome will be the same regardless, she takes matters into her own hands, and surrenders her body to the sea.
But it isn't only Anna's death that shocks her family. The papers she left behind may lead her sister Helen to discover more about Anna than she, or any of the Hand family, need to know.