* The story begins in Santa Monica, California, in 1986.
* Dalva writes in a journal to her son whom she gave up for adoption when she was young.
* Dalva's father, John Wesley, died in the Korean War; Dalva was only nine.
* Dalva's sister Ruth has been separated from her husband Ted for 15 years because he is gay.
* Ruth says she has begun an affair with a priest.
* Dalva dates a history professor named Michael; she says he has issues.
* Dalva says the previous winter she had worked with troubled teens and encountered one whose uncle raped him.
* Dalva goes to the boy's home to question the mother and is met by the uncle instead; Dalva is fired for her personal intervention in the case.
* Ruth calls Dalva and admits she has had one last fling with her priest in an effort to become pregnant.
* Dalva discusses her...
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