Thirty-two-year-old Sunny Cooper lives in Albuquerque where she struggles to make a living voicing radio spots, to hold on to her floundering relationship, and to forget the first eighteen years of her life, spent on Armonía, (Spanish for ‘harmony’) a commune in rural northern New Mexico. It was at Armonía that Sunny grew up a hippie kid, hating it, dreaming of a normal life with indoor plumbing, new clothes and a nuclear family instead of a constantly changing cast of strangers. It was there when Sunny was eight, that a freak accident took the life of her four-year-old sister, Mari, leaving her family fragmented and scarred.
Just when it looks as if the “normal” life she craves might be within reach, her fiancé Michael is killed in a truck accident, and she begins to discover that he was not exactly who she supposed. Questionable business practices come to light, making her a target for revenge-seeking scam victims, and a stranger appears, claiming to be a brother Michael never told her about. Still reeling from these revelations, Sunny uncovers evidence that Michael was having an affair with her best friend.
It is this last disclosure that causes her to bolt, selling all her painstakingly accumulated possessions and heading “as far West as I can go without flying over water.”
Coming to ground on San Miguel Island—ironically, in the town of Harmony—she finds a job waiting tables at the Ale House and begins to rebuild her life. Her first, tentative friendships are with cowgirl naturalist Freddie, hair stylist Trish, bookstore owner Hallie, and Piggy Murphy, the reformed one-percenter who tends bar at the Ale House and teaches her to ride a motorcycle. She even imagines the stirrings of romantic feelings for local sailor and carpenter JT Lakes.
When an unexpected reminder of the past sets up an emotional encounter with her estranged mother, Sunny recognizes that only by making peace with her history can she finally emerge from its shadow and claim her new life.