When her father is swept away in an avalanche halfway around the globe, young Cassia's world falls apart. Who and what can she trust – now or forever? She turns wary of everything, especially her family. Just what holds hers together, anyway, other than their restaurant? At first, she yearns for a normal life out in the suburbs, rather than the spacious pink Victorian manor with its witch's hat tower in the heart of town that's the headquarters of her large, extended family. But then her brothers remind her that normal is what their father fled when he married their mother and was warmly accepted into their Greek-American clan.
In due time, three aunts guide Cassia on a long road to recovery – never mind she's proclaiming eternal mourning and dressing accordingly. Thea Pia's a passionate earth mama who revives the kefi they need. Crucially, Thea Nita, who had been his professional colleague, conscripts Cassia to investigate a trove of photographs that established his reputation and then helps her piece together a much bigger picture. Thea Yin, an outspoken accountant who runs the former church they've converted to a playhouse, hires Cassia as her assistant in managing rock concerts. Not bad for a teen, even before you throw in her big circle of cousins – the squad – and their support.
Step by step, Cassia discerns how much their comfortable existence rests on a legacy her immigrant ancestors built by working hard and pooling their resources through hard times and sorrow. In escaping scandal in the old country, were they shouldered with a curse and its lingering stain? Troubles exist, for certain – deep fractures imposed by death, divorce, greed, and now Cassia's own generation having to choose whether to remain with the family business or move elsewhere. When these threaten to sweep away their treasure, the insights she's learned in her recovery from loss come into play as she looks to sustaining their future. Once more, as she discovers, help comes from the most unanticipated sources.