When a woman rushes into Rachel Goddard's animal hospital with a dog struck by a car during a thunderstorm, her terrified tot loses sight of her mother and screams, "Mommy! I want Mommy!" Instantly Rachel remembers a day when her baby sister Michelle uttered the same cry while thunder crashed and rain poured down on them. Like a fragment from a nightmare, the experience leaves Rachel shaken and she doesn't understand its meaning or the anguish it stirs up in her.
She seeks answers but learns nothing from Michelle or from Judith, their loving but manipulative mother, a psychologist who is only too happy to have her adult daughters still living in her elegant Tudor house outside Washington, DC. But theirs is a house of secrets where Judith's unspoken rules forbid questions about the family history or the daughters' long-dead father. The heartbreaking truth Rachel uncovers will shatter her world and force her to make an unthinkable choice.