One hot Colorado afternoon, physician-turned-archaeologist Sarah MacLeish unearths the skeleton of an Ancestral Puebloan girl with a deformed leg. Her efforts to understand something of the long-ago life of that girl confront her with the flaws in her own body, and in her marriage. Sarah struggles with multiple sclerosis, and she is increasingly persuaded that her husband, archaeologist Harry MacLeish, is profoundly discontented in their childless marriage. Sarah must contend too with the question of where she comes from, what she remains capable of accomplishing in her life, how she can live up to the values of her grandmother -- whose long life is drawing to its inevitable close -- and whether she has either the power or the will to shape the days that remain to her. Employing archaeology as both subject and metaphor, this is a provocative and always lyrical book whose characters grapple with the deepest human questions: How can we know who we really are? What is best for us? How do we construct satisfying narratives of our lives out of the broken materials fate hands us? Set near Mesa Verde in southwestern Colorado, where the author grew up and lived for many years, it is a novel rich with archaeological, cultural, medical, and emotional truths.