When her mother is diagnosed with cancer, Rachel Matlow is concerned but hopeful. It's stage one, so her mom will get surgery and everything will go back to normal. But growing up in Rachel's family, there was no normal.
Elaine, an alternative school teacher and self-help junkie, was never a capital M 'Mommy'—she spent more time meditating than packing lunches—and Rachel, a tomboy who played hockey and chess and felt a profound sense of disappointment in the girls' shoe department, was no ordinary daughter. When Elaine decides to forgo conventional treatment and heal herself naturally, Rachel is forced to ponder whether the very things that made her mom so special—her assertiveness, her non-compliance, her belief in being the author of her own story—are what will ultimately kill her.