To Frances, an only child living in McCarthy-era Brooklyn, her mother, Hilda, and her aunt Pearl seem as if they have always been friends. Frances does not question the love between the two women until her father's job as a teacher is threatened by anti-Communism, just as Frances begins to learn about her family's past. Why does Hilda refer to her -first pregnancy, - as if Frances wasn't her only child? Whose baby shoes are hidden in Hilda's dresser drawer? Why is there tension when Pearl and her husband come to visit?
The story of a young girl in the fifties and her elders' coming-of-age in the unquiet thirties, this book resonates deeply, revealing in beautiful, clear language the complexities of friendship and loss.