Anna and Rose were very close to each other. During the story Rose even thinks that Anna coukl be her mother. They become estranged and in Anna's case very bitter over Rose's affair with Anna's father especially when Anna's mother was alive. Anna looks on it as a betrayal by her aunt of her sister and cannot go beyond that.
At another aunt's request Anna returns home to the family run restaurant which has been in the family to help out her Aunt Rose on the proviso that it is purely temporary. Rose hopes that it would be the way to reconciling the family and that all the years apart are in the past and that her niece will stay with the family. Anna returns to a restaurant going slowly downhill due to apathy on the part of her aunt to discipline staff, a chef who is aggressive and not moving forward and a general falling apart.
Apart from the daily running of a restaurant and the busy schedule it entails the story is about family - the generation gap, the clashing of personalities, and at the end the closeness of being family and the ties that bind a family. The importance of being part of a group, of belonging and knowing that a family's love and care will protect you and that family love you despite lots of faults is overwhelmingly seen in the story.