Andrew and Elizabeth have been able to have two children thanks to the help of in vitro fertilization, and now they have decided to make their remaining ten embryos available for adoption by others. Their choice creates ripples through the lives of their two children, Michelle and Stephen, and of two others born from their embryos, Caroline and Brian, who were transferred as embryos to a lesbian couple.
Set between the White Mountains and seacoast of New Hampshire, these four teenagers discover by accident that they are siblings. When Caroline develops pediatric leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant, her mothers must search for the family whose embryos they had selected from a fertility clinic sixteen years earlier. The tragic illness draws the two families together, bringing to light a secret that has been hidden for years. Over the course of one school year, the young characters and their parents navigate depression, substance abuse, developing sexuality, homophobia, chronic illness, and suicide. They represent only part of the complexity comprising today’s modern family, with each member in search of his or her true north.
This novel tells a tale of four teenagers struggling with the different challenges of youth as well as the uncommon revelation of their origin and relationships as genetic siblings.