A woman deals with her fourteen year old niece when her sister-in-law abandons her. The girl is a cutter and a thief and she doesn't know that her father had committed suicide while in prison when she was just four years old. The story is about revealing secrets, coming to terms with the truth no matter the consequences, and about "sticking it out" as the narrator points out.
The concluding scene where the aunt and niece are touring Alcatraz and imagining what life in solitary confinement would be like is a perfect image for the situation the two characters find themselves in.
How to escape...where to go if you do!
I really liked this one...I'll read more Ann Hood for sure.