Ann's mother Adele is making her move across the country, from Wisconsin to California. In California, she has no apartment, no job, no prospects, but she is convinced that nothing will ever happen to her if she doesn't leave Wisconsin, where all of her family live. Ann is grief-stricken at leaving her aunt, uncle, grandmother, cousin, and step-father, but Adele is the type of person who is always excited about something and never seems to look back.
In California, Ann adapts better than does her mother. While Adele continues to struggle with finding a job and a suitable man, Ann finds friends, a boyfriend, and an acting job on a primetime television show. The whole time, though, she continues to fight with and resent her mother. The primary focus of this book is the blowouts between the generally serious Ann and the often childish, impractical, and eccentric Adele.
The narration shifts among Ann, her Aunt Carol, and her grandmother Lillian, adding a level of plot and backstory to the novel. Through those chapters told by Carol and Lillian, we learn of the women who stood in for Adele as mother figures during Ann's early childhood, and we learn of their own childhoods and secret pasts.
This report prepared by Melissa Rachiele