Josie came to Los Angeles to escape her run-down family with its sad history of trouble and abuse; when she met Michael - brilliant, musical, handsome - she thought she'd found her first chance for real love and a new life. But Michael, despite a youth filled with every material advantage, was an emotional trainwreck, with an apathetic, distant father and a mother who stayed all too close. As the novel begins, Josie has just learned of Michael's suicide. Alone, grieving, in shock, Josie is trying to understand what happened when Michael's mother Meredith, a renowned concert pianist, accuses Josie of causing her son's death. As the two women circle one another from the extreme poles of their lives - Meredith secluded in a mansion in the hills, Josie scraping an existence from low-budget film roles, nude modeling for art classes, and a circle of friends from the seedy world of L.A.'s underground music scene - they embark on a strange partnership that is equal parts mistrust and blind need. And just when Josie is convinced she knows the truth about Michael's death, she uncovers a secret from his life that changes everything forever.