Thirty-four year old Ruby Bridge is a not-too-successful comedienne who uses her mother, a nationally-syndicated "moral and spiritual counselor" as the main fodder for her cynical, rather bitter humor. Her mother Nora, long divorced from Ruby's father, is a woman whose past is just about to catch up with her--in the form of blackmail by a former lover.
After an accident (an attempted suicide?) Ruby returns to care for her stricken mother--bitterly resenting the fact that once again her mother's life has colonized hers. When she is approached by a publisher to write a biography of her mother, Ruby is desperate for the princely sum offered. Yet her research into her mother's past reveals a woman very different from the one Ruby expected. And what began as "mommy dearest" ends as a love story--not only between mother and daughter, but involving two very different men who play a key role in linking the past to the present.