Joe Arneson has been having a series of recurrent dreams. These dreams feel too real to be dreams. They leave him shaking and unstable. That's why his dad decides to send Joe to a psychiatric hospital. Joe's not finding the help he needs there, and one day a woman claiming to be his grandmother comes to get him out. He knows his grandmother is dead, but he wants to leave the hospital, too, so he heads off with her to her small Wisconsin town.
In Wisconsin, Joe's offered a job to sort through his grandmother's things before she dies. He learns that the woman really is his grandmother and that his father's lied to him for year. He doesn't understand why. As he goes through old photos, he realizes that his dreams are somehow tied to events of the past. His grandmother's sister Alice died decades ago, and his grandmother needs to reveal the truth of those events and events surrounding the reason his father hates her so much.
Dovetail is a charming story of family secrets. It takes place in the 1980s and goes back to the 1910s. It's a story that revolves around jealousy, family dynamics, and some mystical elements like visions of the past.
Make no mistake, Joe's grandmother Pearl is not a likable character in the past. It's hard to read her chapters and feel any sympathy for her. In fact, you may want to give up. Keep reading though. As secrets are revealed, she never won me over, but it gave me some knowledge that she'd changed her ways and learned from her selfishness.