When seventeen-year-old Henry Shaw accidentally stumbles into his mother's e-mail file and finds her confession of infidelity, he is unable to resist becoming an electronic eavesdropper. For a year, he secretly- monitors his mother's passionate other life with her lover. But Henry's observations, set down a decade after that fateful year, are much more than the "old story" of adultery his mother deemed her affair to be. His confused feelings about his mother's secret infatuation colour his own tentative explorations of love and sex, and disturb the way he views his father and his wayward younger sister. With her inimitable grace, humour and compassion, Jane Hamilton has created a novel full of rich insights into the nature of love and the deep, mysterious bonds that hold families together.