Muriel Sullivant is drifting. Unhappily but resignedly single, living alone in an apartment from which she’s loathe to venture, she’s found a certain peace–even contentment–in reading the New York Times, eating flavored popcorn, and watching trashy TV. Her carefully confined life cracks open, however, when she receives some devastating news from her perfect older sister, Pia: Pia has late-stage cancer, and she doesn’t have much time left. Shocked, Muriel agrees to hold onto the dress Pia wishes to wear for her burial, and to keep Pia’s illness a secret from their mother, Lidia, who never hid the fact that Pia was her favorite daughter.
The announcement of Pia’s imminent death throws Muriel into a tailspin and forces her to reckon her troubled relationship with Pia with her own regret and wish for reconciliation. Hogan pieces together her story through different viewpoints and shifts in time, painting a dark portrait of sisters who should have loved each other but didn’t, and a mother who had incendiary secrets of her own. As Pia’s illness worsens, past and present collide, forcing the sisters to face truths–about themselves, and each other–that change life as they know it forever.
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