Queens, 2012. Hurricane Sandy is flooding New York City, and Lily is at a nursing home with her grandmother, Collette. Lily visits Collette often, as she is beginning to lose her memory. When the National Guard shows up to evacuate the building and take them to safety at the Park Slope armory in Brooklyn, Collette suddenly produces a red box she’s hidden in a closet for years. Once they get to safety, Lily opens the box, where she finds an old, beautiful Montblanc pen. Collette tells Lily that the pen is very important and that she has to take care of it, as well as some letters written in French. But Lily loses the pen in the course of evacuating other nursing home residents. As she searches the city trying to find it, Lily learns more about her grandmother’s past in France and begins to uncover the significance of the pen with the help of her best friend, and a larger-than-life, off-Broadway understudy. Told in alternating chapters (2012 and 1944), this engaging book explores a deep friendship during difficult times and the importance of family.