The only thing Aurie Hargrove can remember about the end of WWII is the day her Daddy came home. As the sound of her parents' late night whispers once again fill their little house at the end of an old dirt road, seven-year-old Aurie truly believes her life is perfect. But when a sudden illness sends her Momma into hospital for an indefinite stay, the little girl's world begins to fall apart. Gone are the days of gingerbread cookies and goodnight kisses. Now Aurie, the second youngest of five children, arrives home from school each afternoon to the lonely reminder of Momma's absence. Though her father tries hard to keep patient throughout his children's antics, Aurie struggles to rebuild a relationship with him, and blames him for letting Momma leave. The only one who seems to understand how she feels is her chatterbox Auntie Caroline, whose weekly visits to the Hargrove home are filled with fleeting moments of laughter and joy. As life becomes a jumble of sibling squabbles and afterschool adventures, the children are shocked to learn that each of them will be allowed a private visit with Momma. While her sister and brothers anxiously await their turn, Aurie refuses to go, terrified by the prospect of seeing her Momma sick in a hospital bed. As the rest of her family finds a way to cope with the loss that looms over them, Aurie must decide whether to face her fear of the hospital, or risk never seeing her mother again.