Mirabelle is a writer who just can’t finish any of the stories she starts. When her twins leave home for college, they take with them Mirabelle’s sense of identity, as well as her excuses for not completing any of her books. As she’s attempting to adjust to the absence of her children, she is visited by someone unexpected: a character from the very first novel she ever attempted to write. Twenty years after Mirabelle began his story, Kip shows up, in the flesh, in her bedroom, in all his 1990s glory. Flannel shirt, long grungy hair and all, he demands she finish his story.
But it’s not just Kip who appears to Mirabelle. Characters from all her unfinished works begin to materialize in her home, in her car, at her job. They talk to her. Some yell at her. Some even throw things at her. Mirabelle can see them, smell them, touch them and though she knows they’re not real, she can’t help but engage them, accept them. She created them, after all. They become part of her daily life and she finds herself alternating between hiding them from and sharing them with her almost-always-doting husband, Alex.
Some of Mirabelle’s characters are like good friends, encouraging her to finish something she’s started. Some are like not-so-good friends, manipulating her for their own needs and story lines. Some are like old friends helping her remember what she’s good at, what she’s meant for. And some are like bad memories, feeding on her insecurities and using them to hurt her. Good and bad, these characters are part of her and Mirabelle discovers she needs to both fix and finish them before she destroys her life, her sanity and her marriage.