Part One: Claire in Wonderland
When Claire Harmon wakes up in a bedroom she doesn’t recognize on New Year’s Day, 2000, she wonders where she is. What she discovers is a world in which her parents died in college, and she married her sweetheart Brent. But that Claire’s world has gone horribly awry; Brent has become a U.S. Senator and sponsored a bill for ‘Menage’ marriage, of which Claire and Brent’s own marriage was the pilot – Claire is married to two men, both of whom are dead in her own world. Her new body is anorectic and addicted to painkillers and anti-depressants. She lives in a mansion in Seacliff with her two ‘husbands’, who are also lovers, and she writes a society column for “The San Francisco Chronicle”. Claire sees how wrong this life has become, and before she returns to her own world she decides to repair it. Her second husband Paul is all for change; his relationship with Claire died when she lost a baby in a car accident, and he is living his own nightmare in the beautiful mansion on the cliff. The only one who is happy with their life is Brent, and he will do anything to keep it. Once Claire decides to leave him, he resorts to some fairly outrageous tactics to keep her with him and Paul. When these fail, everything spirals out of control – the mansion burns and Brent is nearly killed. It is Brent’s assistant Heather who is the ultimate villain in this story; she wants Claire to stay with Brent so he can run for President, but she finally decides it would be better to have her dead. Claire makes all right with the alternate world, but has no idea whether she will wake up back in her own world on New Year’s Day 2001, or remain in her new life.
Part Two: Claire Through the Looking Glass
When Claire Reedhill awakens on New Year’s Day, 2000, she isn’t hungover. This in itself is remarkable; Claire has been alcoholic and prescription drug-addicted for fifteen years, and the feeling of waking up alert is strange and disconcerting. When she realizes he is in a strong but overweight body she freaks out, and when her mother is still alive, a severe invalid and in the next bedroom, it nearly sends her over the edge. Her ‘husbands’ Brent and Paul are both dead in this world, Claire is alone and broke and caring for a mother who is dying. She is torn between disgust at having so little and being fat and the joy of having her mother back with her, even if it is only for a little while. She discovers that this Claire is more accomplished than she is; a published author of five books, with awards and a film contract that hasn’t yet been finalized. She decides she will get Claire in shape for her new life, and begins this regimen immediately. But she also realizes that Claire is much healthier in this world than she was in her own, and she knows this is a new chance for her to change her own life as well as Claire’s. She decides to get that film deal finalized, and when a former lover comes back into her life, he assists her in ways she never imagined. In her own world, Claire had only a one-weekend fling with rock star Jared Wyndham. But in this world, Claire was his lover for two years, and they remained friends for some time. When his second wife and baby are killed in a terrorist bombing in Milan, Jared nearly kills himself in his anguish, but a condolence letter from Claire (the new, braver Claire) draws him back into her life, and they wind up together in Las Vegas for New Year’s, 2000...will Claire awaken still in this great new life with her rock star, or back at home with her two husbands. And just what was the other Claire doing in her place?