Sixteen-year-old Leila Abranel was born some twenty years after her sisters. She barely knows her elegant sisters from her father’s first marriage but she loves hearing about them—details of Rebecca’s ruined marriage, Clare’s first job, and the strings of unsuitable boyfriends.
When Rebecca kills herself, Leila wants to know why. She starts by spending time with Clare and finally comes to know her as a person instead of a story. Leila, in her search for Rebecca, meets Eamon, who is thirty-one and writes for television. He thinks Leila is beautiful and smart, but he does not, he tells her, date teenagers. As the months go by and Leila turns seventeen, she and Eamon learn that you can love someone you are not dating. Most people, Leila discovers, have a hard time figuring when to let go and when to stay.