Summary of the plot: A call came from her father that changed everything. He demanded that she quit her job, come home, and take care of her mother who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. While growing up she hardly even knew her mother, preferring instead the company of her father, an English professor.. She was more than a little insulted by the demand, but ended up being her mother's closest companion for the elder Gulden's last six months of life.
The autopsy revealed an overdose of the prescribed pain medications--who had administered them? Ellen knew that she had not. She had seen her father spoon feeding her mother's last meal of rice pudding but did not say anything about it to anyone, not even at the grand jury investigation into her mother's death where Ellen was the prime suspect.