Lottie Kristin is independent from the start. Born in the middle of the century to a middle-class family in the very middle of America, Lottie is set apart by her smarts and sensuality. A girl who'd rather carry out dissections on a snowy back porch than join her family for Christmas dinner is a strange and exotic artifact in the town of Sleeping Bay. But by her early twenties, Lottie finds herself trapped in a marriage gone stale, with a daughter she adores but whose existence jeopardises her place in the lab and her dream of becoming a scientist. How can a young woman make her way in a world determined to contain her brilliance, her will, and her longing to live?