This is a story of a psychiatric nurse named Elizabeth who comes to California with her teenage daughter to work at the Raine Correctional Facility. She tells the stories of the mentally ill inmates in a moving tale of regret and hope, of tragedy and redemption, of lives lived differently from planned, and of lives never lived at all. This novel also encompasses the lives of the nurses who work with her. She is caught up in a world unlike any she has known, a dark place where she must at times fight the system to care for her patients. But outside that building, with its cells and bars, lies a sinister presence that may alter her life forever.