A professor of creative writing at Emerson College in Boston, Jessica Treadway's story collection Please Come Back to Me received the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction and was published by University of Georgia Press in 2010. Her other books are the novel And Give You Peace, which was published by Graywolf Press in 2001 and named to Booklist's Top 10 Debut Novels of 2001, and the collection Absent Without Leave (Delphinium Books/Simon & Schuster), which received the John C. Zacharis First Book Award from Ploughshares in 1993. Her stories have appeared in The Atlantic, The Hudson Review, Ploughshares, Five Points, Glimmer Train, AGNI, Shenandoah, and Bellevue Literary Review, among others. Treadway has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of PEN New England, where she served as co-chair of the Freedom to Write Committee. She lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.
Hanna Schutt never suspected that her younger daughter's happiness would lead to her husband's death and the destruction of their family. When Dawn brings her new boyfriend home from college for a visit, her parents and sister try to hide their doubts because they're glad that Dawn - always an awkward child - appears to have grown into a confident, mature young woman in her relationship with Rud. But when Hanna and her husband, Joe, are beaten savagely in their bed, Rud becomes the chief suspect and stands trial for Joe's murder.
Claiming her boyfriend's innocence, Dawn estranges herself from her mother, who survived the attack with serious injuries and impaired memory. When Rud wins an appeal and Dawn returns to the family home saying she wants to support her mother, Hanna decides to try to remember details of that traumatic night so she can testify to keep her husband's murderer in jail, never guessing that the process might cause her to question everything she thought she knew about her daughter.