Sylvia Sandon always swore she wouldn't become her mother. But one August morning she finds herself walking the same path as the fervently religious yet faithless Elaine...into an affair she feels powerless to resist.
Against the backdrop of California brush fires in the 1970s, twelve-year-old Sylvia had agreed to hold a secret that would devour her family's dream of happiness. Now struggling to create a better life in small-town New England, Sylvia nonetheless feels caught in the coils of history: she confronts the embers of her dying marriage, the all-consuming needs of her two daughters and her faltering artistic career. Then Tai Rosen--the father of a student--ignites an unexpected passion and a familiar betrayal that could illuminate the past, even as it jeopardizes everything dear.