Kate - whose care for her terminally ill mother coincides with the birth of her first child in the early months of a young marriage - must, in a single year, come to terms with radiant beginnings and profound loss.
Kate's everyday world is enveloped by the gradual vanishing of her mother. And as the woman who has been her best friend and mentor disappears, we see Kate deal with timeless, perhaps unanswerable, questions of love and death.
Jayne Anne Phillips is the author of five works of fiction. The recipient of many awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she is currently Professor of English and Director of the MFA Program at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey. She divides her time between Boston, New York, and Glen Ridge, New Jersey.