"Pearls My Mother Wore" is about loss and recovery, resentment and forgivness. The novel opens on the day that forty-three-year-old "nice girl" Kelly Tremblake buries the ashes of her forty-two-year-old husband, Grayson. Devastated by his sudden and unexpected death, Kelly finds the sweet, uncomplicated life she has intentionally crafted for herself screeching to a halt. As she pulls increasingly inward in response to this psychic blow, what she finds is complicated and decades old. Compounding the agony of her loss and the flood of memories is the sudden and unexpected arrival of Grayson's twenty-three-year-old "bad-boy" nephew, Mitchell. Kelly can not stand this young man for a number of reasons, chief among them the fact that years earlier he stole a pearl necklace and earring set that had belonged to her deceased mother. This combination of events throws Kelly into a spiral of grief, bitter resentment, paranoia, and despair. To find relief, she must get those pearls back.