Abandoned as a baby, Rebecca has no tie to her parents other than the men's size-eleven shoebox in which she was found. Yet she grows from a child of no one and nowhere into a woman who creates her own unorthodox but tender family. First, there is Joe-a brilliant historian and loyal friend who longs for more than Rebecca can give him, but whose devotion sustains her. Adam, Joe's friend, is the man who becomes her husband. And Ruby is the daughter whom Rebecca loves with almost unbearable intensity. Then this hopeful life is dealt a blow that could shatter the strongest ties. Rebecca flees her marriage, and Adam sinks into a life numbed by routine and isolation. In the end, it is Joe who enables them to find the way back to understanding, and offers Rebecca a history that she can call her own. Illuminated by both sorrow and vivid joy, Mourning Rubyis ultimately about the transcendent power of storytelling itself.