In one minute, delivering a not guilty verdict at the end of the trial for a disturbing murder of a child, Matthew Rice’s life begins to unravel. The very structures his life is built upon start to collapse.
Matthew retreats to Quarry Island in Georgian Bay, where he loses his wallet in a boating mishap. Among the pieces of identification he needs to replace is his birth certificate, but he’s informed it’s not on file.
His birth certificate was a forgery. Not only have the foundations of his life given way, his very identity is shattered.
Matthew learns that the woman who raised him was his father’s second wife, and that his real mother died when he was a baby. What began as a search for a replacement for his birth certificate becomes a search for a woman who was a trailblazing journalist. His search takes him on a journey to Sydney, Australia, Boston, and Dublin; it results in the possession of the journals his mother kept up to her dying days in 1952. These entries are a window into a fascinating woman and a distant time not so different from our own.
Still unsure of his place in a world that has changed in ways he has difficulty completely understanding, he returns to Quarry Island in Georgian Bay, where he stocks up on books and a case of good Scotch to sit out the end of his world as he knew it.
But fate has more in store for Matthew than he can understand.