In 1965 Alek was sent to spend the summer with his grandmother Alma whom he both fears and loves. Alma is deeply troubled by the fact that her wayward sister, Ruby, is having an affair with Alma's married boss. Then one night there is a terrible explosion killing Ruby and 40 other revelers at a local dance hall. The town closes ranks and no one is charged with the crime. During Alex’s visit his grandmother decides to break her silence and reveal the truth about the explosion. The novel is loosely based on a real event told to the author by his own grandmother.