Needing time to contemplate her troubled marriage, Tessa MacRae agrees to spend the summer helping her mother and grandmother clean out the family home in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. But the three women have never been close.
Helen, the family matriarch, is domineering and sharp-tongued. Nancy, Tessa's mother, appears to be little more than a social climber. And Tessa herself is in turmoil following a family tragedy that has affected them all. Now, with the gift of time, Tessa's eyes are opened, and she begins to see her mother and grandmother for the flawed but courageous women they are. As she restores a vintage wedding-ring quilt pieced by her grandmother and quilted by her mother, the secrets that have shadowed their lives unfold at last. And each woman discovers that sometimes you have to clean house to find the things you thought were lost forever.