Mary Therese Panos, "Mae," has been let down by too many people in her life. When she is ten years old, she is shipped off to boarding school by her uncle. She clings to the dream that her mother will rescue her from her loneliness, and they will be a happy family once again. Her mother never comes, and Mae struggles year after year at St. Mary's. To hide her vulnerabilities, she puts up a prickly exterior and dabbles with drugs. Her stabs at self-definition are sometimes funny, sometimes scary.
Many years and impulsive choices later, Mae's unhealthy methods of coping only get worse. Now, she's stuck as a stereotypical seventies housewife with a husband who was certainly not her first choice. The only joy in her life is her daughter, Kristy. It's not enough to ward off days filled with depression and self-hatred. Mae discovers that the act of cutting herself is the only thing that allows her to feel connected. As she plunges deeper and deeper into her cycle of drug abuse and self-harm, Mae will have to confront the demons in her past. It's her only chance of breaking the cycle and becoming the mother Kristy deserves.