After her seductive and uncompromising mother, Ingrid, kills her own boyfriend for abandoning her, fifteen-year-old Astrid witnesses her mother's arrest. It's an event that will change the course of both their lives. Suddenly, young Astrid is on her own. Shuttled through a series of foster homes, Astrid struggles to master the techniques she needs if she's to survive the unyielding and often harsh world she is thrust into. Astrid tries desperately to forge her own identity within her ever-changing environment. From behind bars, Ingrid's powerful influence is the only constant in Astrid's life--for good, and for bad. In the three years that mark her passage from child to adult, Astrid must learn the value of independence and courage, rage and forgiveness, love and survival, to earn her freedom from the past.