1942: Her mother's death left Grace Turner detached from the world until she became pregnant. Now, she's fallen in love with her baby boy but is locked in combat with her sister-in-law over his care. Wanting an independent life for herself and her son, Grace leaves Sault Ste. Marie to find work, and a place of her own, in southern Ontario. But she worries: when she returns for her baby, will her brother and sister-in-law give him up?
1957: Teenaged Dean Turner breaks open a locked box and finds adoption papers with a birth certificate for Daniel Turner, son of Grace Turner and an unknown father. His parents deny that he is adopted, but four years later, Dean leaves home to find the mysterious Grace.
1961: Laura falls in love with Dean Turner soon after he sits down at her table in the Queen Street Eaton's cafeteria, but he disappears as suddenly and as devastatingly as he appeared. When she encounters him in Sault Ste. Marie three years later, she is determined not to let him slip away again.
1973: Eight-year-old Dawn Turner waits for her father one morning at the front door of her grandparents' house. Dawn and her little brother are finally starting a life with their father, Dean, and his new wife. But when the new beginning doesn't work out, she and Jimmy end up back with their grandparents. As Dawn grows up, she must work to understand her family's mysteries and disappearing acts before she loses track of herself completely. Jamie Zeppa paints a tender and perceptive portrait of the unconventional, though not entirely dysfunctional, Turner family. Rich with mystery, broken promises and in the end, some mending of hearts, Every Time We Say Goodbye explores what it means to leave, to be left, to be absent; what connects parents and children, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives - and what drives them apart.
From the Hardcover edition.