Architect and single mother Emily Harada has structured a well-ordered existence around her work restoring historic houses and the parenting of her teenage son, Jesse. But her carefully laid foundation cracks when she develops a nagging ache in her shoulder, has her architectural integrity questioned, and feels shut out by Jesse's assertions of independence. What she doesn't need right now - or does she? - are the romantic attentions of a former student, an attractive but much younger man. Or for an old acquaintance to resurface with questions about a Bronze Age artifact that Emily might have, uh, stolen, once upon a time, in her youth.
Emily, her son, and the 2,000-year-old artifact all come of age in this funny and moving novel about motherhood, middle age, and one woman's attempt to restore herself to a state of grace that combines the best elements of past and present, old and new.