When Grace Metalious’s Peyton Place was first published in 1956, it had a profound effect on Middle River. A small mill town in New Hampshire, Middle River was convinced that it was the model Grace had used..No one was affected more deeply than Annie Barnes, whose mother and grandmother paralleled the major characters in Peyton Place. An aspiring writer herself, Annie was made a scapegoat for the angst the town had suffered at the hands of Grace Metalious. Indeed, Grace became a fixture in Annie’s life, an alter-ego of sorts.
Driven from town, she has become a successful novelist. But now her mother has died and her sister is ill, and she senses that something is very wrong with Middle River. So she returns. Whether bidden by curiosity, a need for redemption, or revenge, Annie goes after the town’s powerbrokers and, in the process, learns more about herself, her family, and Grace than she ever expected.