This novel is about a woman who is forced to take a hard look at her life, and the choices that she made to get her to this point.
Cailean will never be nominated for Mother of the Year. She has taken to alcohol to ease the memory of a terrible thing that happened to her when she was a child (it's not what you think). She doesn't drink simply to get drunk; she drinks to pass out. She and Wilson, her husband, are separated. Her record for visiting her son, Beau, who simply wants his mother to love him, is not good. One day, Cailean shows up at Wilson's door, sober, and convinces him to let her take beau to her condo for just a few hours. The intention for Cailean is to show Beau and Wilson that she really can change. Things do not end well.
Existing somewhere between life and death, Cailean finds herself trapped in a cone of bright light in a snowstorm. She is being held there by a humanoid being named Sariel, who forces her to take a hard look at her life. She finds out just what it was that turned her into such a mean and rotten person, filled with self-hatred (again, it's not what you think). Cailean also sees what has happened to the "good" part of her. At the end, does Cailean have an Ebenezer Scrooge-like epiphany, and work to regain the confidence of Beau and Wilson? Does she even survive the encounter with Sariel?
This book will certainly get the reader to look inside themselves, to see if they have any Cailean-like behavior. It is recommended for everyone, especially those in the grip of alcoholism. Do you and Cailean share a similar reason for your actions?