Riley is a 25-year-old school counselor in Durham, North Carolina and she is going through a particularly rough patch. Her father has died and it falls on her to take care of his estate, sifting through all his possessions and obsessions (he was a collector of all manner of ephemera), selling his house and RV Park. Her older brother Danny, an Iraq vet, is simply not up to the task and as she has recently broken up with her boyfriend, she feels adrift and alone.
When she meets with her father’s attorney for the reading of the will, she finds that her father has left things and substantial sums of money to people that she hardly knows. What was her fathers’ true relationship to the couple that had lived in the RV Park for twenty years? How does her deceased mother’s best friend fit in? Why is her troubled brother so angry with her parents?
Riley sets out to answer these questions and more, untangling a web of lies that goes back to her very origins. Not nearly as surprising or shocking as the author probably hoped, Riley finally uncovers the truths that shaped her family and changed it forever.
This was a quick read, which was good, because I found myself becoming exasperated with Riley for her selfishness and insecurity. Perhaps her age and circumstances warranted it, but it didn’t always make her a sympathetic character for me.