Janet Whitaker Virdis is a New York State transplant to San Diego at the very beginning of the longest drought in California’s history.
Years after her arrival, she is happily married with four children and a very well-paid job at an elite San Diego law firm. Her work grants her unparalleled access to the rise of the firm’s most powerful client: an extremely wealthy political party with its own beliefs, uniforms, and hierarchy that is determined to lead California and the nation in a moment of crisis.
As the drought worsens and dust storms become the norm in San Diego, Janet insists on remaining in Southern California. Across the world, species are going extinct, people are forced across borders in unprecedented numbers, and entire regions are becoming uninhabitable. A mysterious disease associated with increased desertification, which only kills teenage boys, has made its entrance, and no cure is available. Janet is the mother of three boys. Awaiting public execution in San Diego, twenty-four years after the drought began, Janet tries to make sense of the many reversals she has suffered and how ostensibly innocuous choices upended the happy life she once enjoyed.