It’s been twenty years since her mother was photographed, blood-soaked, outside the family home. A famous TV food personality, she fled the country. Since that time, the girl has grown up. She’s bought an apartment, learned her own cooking style, fallen in love. She lives a quiet life, working as a copywriter for a health insurance company. She’s found happiness, finally.
But strange things are in the air. Her easygoing boyfriend has started sleeping with men. Her mother is selling the infamous family home. And a glamorous, pregnant neighbour has moved into the apartment downstairs, calling into question everything the girl believes about her own desires.
Among conspiracies, dubious loyalties, and mercenary impulses, how do we work out who is worthy of our devotion and who is just a fan? Shirley charts a search for meaning in a world where the fracturing of ambitions – work and purpose, real estate and home, family and love – has left us uncertain how to recognise ourselves.