After twenty years of looping frustrations Kathryn walks out of her marriage and washes up in her childhood home determined to write her way to a new life. There she is put to work by her aging parents sorting generations of memories and mementos as biblical rains fall steadily and the house is slowly cut off from the rest of the world. Lured away from the story she is determined to write - that of her stillborn brother, Wulf - by her mother's gift of crumbling letters, Kathryn instead begins to piece together the strange tale of an earlier ancestor, Russell Boyt, who fought as a substitute soldier in the American Civil War. As the water rises, and more truths come to the surface, the two stories begin to mingle in unexpected and beautiful ways. In this elegantly written novel Kuitenbrouwer deftly unravels the stories we are told to believe by society and shows the reader how to weave new tales of hope and possibility.