Ethan DeWilde knows that he had a family once. He had a life before shelters and digging in dumpsters, before Eleanor’s johns and the beatings that came with them. It’s a miracle that he recovers that life, but he’ll need another one in order to fit back in to the family that comes with it.
He doesn’t remember his parents, and his little brother Blake, now a teenager, blames Ethan for the fractures in the family. Blake was the only witness to his abduction, and even the details that he’s able to provide aren’t sparking memories for Ethan. He believes his brain has erased the first few years of his life so that he could live in Eleanor’s fictional world, where she was his mother and he was her son.
Little Gracie, the child born to replace him, is the one he’s able to connect with. Her innocence and immediate acceptance of him as her brother is the only thing tethering him to the home he can’t remember, overriding the primitive urge to run that life on the streets has taught him.
Then he meets Cami, his neighbor and one-time best friend that he cannot recall either, though he’d love to try. Especially when she tells him they used to take baths together. Cami’s sweetness and their immediate attraction encourages him to build more relationships, try to scale the walls that his brother has built, and finally have a place to call home.
Even Cami can’t overcome the blankness, or the hysterical laughter that descends on Ethan whenever he tries to remember his abduction, his childhood, anything from his life before he became Eleanor’s.
Because some things are too unspeakable to remember.