From the ashes of a traumatic upbringing, forty-six-year-old Claire Fowler has forged an idyllic life in an affluent Rhode Island enclave with her college-sweetheart husband, Tim, and their ten-year-old daughter, Ally. Even the family dog is convinced he’s arrived at the sweet spot of life.
But things are about to change.
When a last-minute business trip sends Claire to Cincinnati with her hypersexual subordinate, she is vexed but resigned. And when a vicious migraine sends her to a saggy hotel bed and him to the marketing conference in her place, she is first relieved and then thankful.
Weeks later, upon discovering she’s pregnant, Claire has no reason for concern. With the help of genetic counselors and fertility specialists, she and Tim have been striving for a miracle-sibling for Ally.
And now they have one: a precious baby boy they name Owen.
But all is not well, and soon Claire begins spotting alarming quirks in Owen’s behavior that suggest he is stricken with Batten Disease, the terminal illness that took her brother in 1979.
If Claire is right and Owen is sick, other disturbing things may also be true. Things like: Claire has been raped; Owen is not Tim’s son; and Owen is going to die.
As the truth of Owen’s conception emerges, Claire finds herself at the mercy of an unthinkable choice. Her decision—and its harrowing consequences—threaten not only her career and her marriage, but even her freedom.