Glory and her BFF (but not-so-much anymore) Ellie, find a dead, dried up bat which they end up mixing in some of their warm beer one night. The next day, the girls can see the past and future of any person they look at. Glory’s past includes a mom who stuck her head in the gas oven and killed herself when Glory was only four. The girls’ parents used to be close friends who started out together to create the non-commercialized counterculture commune) that is now owned by Ellie’s mom.
Glory is close to graduating high school but totally disengaging from her fellow students as well as her future, throwing away anything sent to her from prospective colleges. She is a loner who hides behind a camera, observing life around her rather than living it. Is she suicidal, like her mom? Her dad doesn’t help much, but sits on the couch most of the day with his laptop, assisting people with computer issues. Glory inherited her mother’s talent with a camera and has started using her mom’s basement darkroom. She discovers her mom’s photo journals, plus a secret hidden journal. Glory slowly finds her way back to a more normal, healthy lifestyle—literally developing a better life along with her photographs. Some sections of the book are pretty dark as Glory is struggling with depression; her thoughts and experiences are rather bleak for most of the book. Her new ability to see the future and the past is mainly a device to help Glory find a reason to care about others and her future. What she sees is pretty frightening—a future where women are unable to work via government decree, a second civil war with girls being kidnapped and taken across the border into rebel territory and counter-rebels using secret tunnels to sabotage the rebel leader and assist women and their children to flee to treetop refuges.