Celia Henry owns the most famous bed-and-breakfast in the whole Northwest. At Henry's House on Isadora Island, Celia has created a faux-family homestead, a testament to tradition. Personally, however, Celia's unconventional love life has kept Isadora Island entertained for a generation.
Married only once and widowed at twenty-two, Celia has spent a lifetime preaching (and practicing) Unfettered Love, preferring unions free of matrimony, free of the ties that bind -- and can just as easily strangle. Despite all the domestic upheaval, she has acquired a large extended family of children, stepchildren, partners, and ex-partners. Generous and spirited, but notoriously stubborn, Celia nonetheless draws people into her arms and her home.
When, much to Celia's dismay, her daughter Bethie announces her engagement, Celia reluctantly agrees to throw a lavish celebration. To this party she must invite everyone in her whole overextended family: her steps and exes, their current partners and starchy in-laws, as well as a host of island eccentrics. As the big day approaches, Celia senses impending disaster. But nothing prepares her for the fallout when the nuclear family explodes and she must reconstruct the past in order to transform the future.