Sally was involved in the accident on Mistik Lake when she was a teenager, and the only survivor. No one blames her but herself.
Odella, Sally's oldest daughter, never understood her mom. And when her mom runs away with another man, she really doesn't understand her at all. Who would abandon 3 daughters and a husband? But as Odella's family begins to heal from this betrayal, Sally dies, leaving the four of them remembering last words and bitter feelings.
They all react in different ways. Odella begins lashing out, not understanding why her mom did the things she did. Her great aunt, Gloria, tries to explain things but cannot. And soon, the whole family realizes there are too many secrets left--too many to keep quiet anymore.
This book is told in third person, but it focuses on three different characters throughout, Odella, Gloria, and Jimmy, Odella's boyfriend. There are many elements that are pulled back in towards the end of the book.