Ava Johnson has been diagnosed with HIV and she wants to move to the more open-minded San Francisco. Before heading to San Francisco, she makes a stop-over in her childhood town, where her widowed big sister lives and works as a social-worker. Ava wants to hang out with her sister and relax, but she soon discovers that the big city problems have moved to the small towns as well. She becomes involved in her sister's social work with teenage mothers, crack addicts etc. The story is written like a sort of diary, and we follow Ava during a few summer months where all sorts of things happen. The subjects being brought up in this book are not happy, and it is hard to imagine that this can be a happy book, but it is. It is also funny, well written, moving, dramatic, touching and very good. The characters are easy to love or hate and you feel like you want to know more about the persons when the books ends.