By: Sarah Ockler
Delilah Hannaford's life has been chaos since the day she was born. Things just seem to fall apart. Her grades, her friends, and especially her family.
Delilah and her mom used to go to Vermont every summer. She had a friend she played with there, she had a lot of fun, and she got to see her grandparents. But when her grandfather died, her summer life was shattered.
Eight years ago, at his funeral, her mother and her Aunt Rachel got into a fight with Delilah's grandmother. Her mom refuses to tell her what happened, and their relationship is constantly on the edge. It doesn't help that her mom never talks to her about her dead father, no matter how hard she pushes. Delilah hasn't been to Vermont since that summer. She was eight years old.
Delilah and her "high-powered executive cell phone and every other electronic device carrying" mother have returned to Red Falls, Vermont once again. This time, for Delilah's grandmother's funeral. Tensions are at the breaking point, for Delilah's mother is (if possible) more closed up and work-absorbed than ever. She practically avoids any conversation with her daughter at all. And Delilah knows why.
There are three things her mother NEVER talks about. The fight eight years ago, Delilah's father, and Stephanie.
Stephanie is Delilah's dead aunt. Her mother's sister. All Delilah knows about her is that she died of cardiac arrest at age 19. Being in her childhood home, where her younger sister died, is hard on Delilah's mother, and she absorbs herself in her work in order to keep her mind busy while the funeral preparations are being made and the house and all of its contents are getting ready to be sold.
Meanwhile, Delilah has discovered something that gives her some insight on her dead aunt's last years. Delilah has made a few new friends, and has rekindled her friendship with the boy she played with every summer when they were younger. Are they just friends, or is something beginning? She isn't sure.
Delilah needs to patch up her ruined relationships. She needs to learn the truth but whenever she tries, her mother shuts her down.
Will this summer heal the Hannaford family, or will it break them more painfully to a point from where there can be no return?