Two strands: first the story of Razi Nolan, growing up in New Orleans in the 1920s, smart, fearless, set on breaking the comfortable family mould by making a career as a doctor. Then she falls in love with Andrew O'Connell and her plans become complicated. She is never able to tell Andrew what she has decided about her future as, one summer morning, she accidentally drowns. By choice, and from where she narrates, she stays between this world and the unknown; every memory of her life remains perfectly intact. More than seventy years later, Razi finds Andrew's once-treasured bookcase at a garage sale. She watches a young couple take it home, Amy and Scott, burdened with secrets of their own. As their once close relationship unravels, Razi remembers her past with Andrew and how she comes to understand what their love ultimately taught her, how he coped after her death, and how the story of Amy and Scott reflects so much of her own.