Young Astrid is very close to her single mother (Michelle Pfieffer) whose free-spirited, semi-man-hating lifestyle is all well and good until her mother's married boyfriend is shot. When Astrid's mother goes to prison for the murder, Astrid is left bouncing around foster care and increasingly wondering if her mother's parenting was really very good in the first place. She lives with all different types of families from Born-again Christians to posh to a youth detention center. As she grows older, she recognizes how her mother's manipulative personality has caused her most all of her life's grief. She is forced to really soul search and is left with more questions than answers, including why her mother committed the murder.