As her family’s carefully scripted façade of Southern gentility crumbles to expose her husband’s unspoken desires, her son’s developmental challenges, and her aunt’s petty greed, Laura Gillenwater is driven toward a murderous plan she cannot control.
Laura Gillenwater knows her life isn’t perfect, but she’s determined no one else will know. Like the director of a play about the perfect Southern family, she worries about appearances and obsesses over the tiniest details in her home and work life. But her behavior increasingly alienates Sam, her already aloof and frigid husband, and leads to bitter disagreements over how to care for Tommy, their fifteen-year-old intellectually disabled son. When her eccentric aunt comes to live with them, Laura’s carefully scripted world begins to fall apart. She tries to shoulder the weight of her aunt’s withering criticism, but when she gets no help from Sam, she decides the way to fix her family is to take care of her aunt—permanently. After Tommy is caught up in a neighborhood scandal and Sam’s deepest secret is revealed, Laura decides getting rid of her aunt isn’t enough. When she turns to a co-worker for help, her life spirals out of control with results no one could have anticipated.