Maya Devine is eleven years old when her mother Marigold is diagnosed with cervical cancer and decides to forgo all medical treatment in favor of spending her last months in a teepee in the backyard.
When Maya's mother dies, her father, who had been growing more distant as Marigold's illness progressed, abandons Maya in favor of nights with his secretary. Maya lives more or less alone for a year or two, teased at school, and confused by other people, whose thoughts she can sometimes hear - and whose auras she always sees. Finally, Maya's aunt Leah comes to her rescue and takes her to live with her in Toronto, just as Maya has discovered her mother's journal and is beginning to learn the truth of her family's secret past.
There's quite a lot going on in this novel, and it bounces around in time, beginning and coming back to - though not quite ending - with Marigold's death. While it can be hard to keep up with the time changes and passing of time, this was a really interesting novel. I was a bit disappointed with the end, though, where it started skipping large chunks of Maya's life in what seemed like a rush to the end.