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The Randalls are "the nice family down the street" close-knit, resilient, facing day-to-day conflicts and gradual change, with the shared love and deep understanding that has seen them through the years.
Laura Randall and her professor husband, Trace, are proud of their accomplishments, even as they try to balance their own identities with increasingly independent children and while caring for their aging parents. Their college-age sons, Bart and Philip, see the family as a reassuring touchstone as they begin building their adult lives. And for independent, vivacious, sixteen-year-old Annie, the Randalls' only daughter, the family is both a much-loved support, and an obstacle, as she struggles to discover her own awakening dreams and needs.
Then Annie dies in an unforeseeable accident--and their family's world is turned upside down.