This book is about Ella, who has always lived in the shadow of her "perfect " older sister. Ella is a single parent to her daughter Birdie. Ella invents a genteel life, writing all about her rose garden and other parts of a respectable life in Old Metairie, Louisianna. Her mother doesn't know the truth about run down scruffy house Ella really lives in, or that she makes ends meet by watering rich peoples house plants when they fleee costal summer heat. But when Ella's sister Terrel is killed in a charted plane on her way to meet her lover, Ella confronts the reality of her life and the man from her past, and comes finally, fully into bloom.