The Harmon family can't believe that Helen would simply vanish, but the thought of foul play is just too horrible to contemplate. Weeks and months pass, and the family comes to slowly realize that something horrendous and tragic happened the summer of 1972.
Helen and Jerry's son, thirteen-year-old Harold, takes the loss especially hard. Since his father is an emotional wreck, and his older sister moves away, Harold takes on the heavy responsibility of helping his younger sister cope with the loss. But his mother's inexplicable disappearance haunts him. If he could only have the closure that every person who loses a loved one needs and wants, maybe he could somehow get on with his life.
Harold grows to maturity, still longing for the mystery to be solved, even though it appears to be hopeless. But when a startling discovery is made by two brothers, it ignites a community's mandate for the truth, sending Harold on a quest to uncover the long-buried reality for himself.