Lynn Austin tells a compelling story, weaving together intergenerational stories to help the main character understand who she is. It begins with Kathleen, a well-off woman who is having difficulty connecting with her teenaged daughter, who has just been caught shoplifting. She agrees to travel back to her hometown so that her daughter can meet the family from which Kathleen has been estranged for many years.
When she arrives in town, she begins to learn about the mother she never knew, and is surprised by her life story. She also learns about her grandmother, who came over from Ireland for a better life, but whose poverty led her eventually to become a rich man's mistress.
The stories show the consequences of the womens' decisions on them, and on their family members. Kathleen learns to forgive her parents and build a better relationship with her extended family, and her husband and daughter.
The entire book is based on the proverb,
" Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the Lord?' Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God." Proverbs 30:8,9