For most of her life, Sarah hid from the world in books and ideas, basing her actions on characters in her favorite novels, especially those by Irving. She thought she had everything down pat, but now nothing makes sense. Told by her advisor that “despair and failure are key to every writing project,” Sarah stops working on her dissertation and attends Abbie’s writing classes. When Abbie suddenly finds love and happiness in London and takes a heady trip to Rome with her new boyfriend, Sarah journeys with her sister Teresa through France on a “Death and Dismemberment Tour,” which ironically leads her to wholeness. In Paris, she and Teresa confront their father, only to find out he’s not the villain they thought he was.
Although nothing is solved and her future is still unclear, Sarah now has the confidence to start writing again for real.