On March 22, 1982, a troubled, nine-months-pregnant woman escapes from the maternity ward of a hospital and climbs to the top of a 100-foot light tower in an abandoned railway yard. Melody Arnold is convinced that her baby is dead, and neither reassurances from her doctor nor the fact that she is a nurse herself can convince her otherwise. She jumps. She doesn’t survive, but amazingly, when the paramedics arrive, a tiny foot is protruding from the woman’s stomach, twitching . . .
Kat Flowers has just turned thirty and is currently working as a waitress at Tilted Kilt, the latest in a series of dead-end jobs. As a teenager, she ran away from a cold, distant father and landed in Arizona on the doorstep of the delightfully eccentric, loving Granny Nanny. When her father sends her a cryptic birthday card, it prompts Kat to take a journey back to Illinois and Chicago’s South Side--and to a mother she never knew.
She shares the journey with the charismatic Zen--who has reasons of his own for returning home--and tries to solve the complicated mystery of her mother’s identity and why she made that tragic leap. As the shadowy details of her mother’s secret life emerge, it is only then that Kat begins to understand herself.