In childhood, Amy Hallberg receives a dollhouse that-while given with love-carries steep expectations. Forty years later, Amy walks away from her teaching career to forge a new life as a writer. The dollhouse reemerges as a mirror on Minnesota Nice, that familiar culture Amy's been afraid to examine too closely. She's equally terrified of repeating her ancestors' stories instead of writing her own. When real-world historic events draw her in, then Amy's true education begins. This leads her to question everything she thought she believed in, and to ultimately build new foundations.
The book ends where it begins, in Minneapolis and its Twin Cities suburbs, but with the dollhouse now gone and Minnesota Nice in the world's spotlight, along with the unresolved questions of legacy and inheritance. What do we keep, what do we let go of, and what do we choose to repurpose?