Chapter Summaries

Part One: In which we meet our heroine 

Katie is unhappy. She's working as the supervisor of a graphic design team for an advertising agency in Toronto, though what she really wants is to be an artist. But she recently bought a house, and so for the past five months she's been working at this "responsible" job to pay the mortgage. She works with her best friend, Melissa, who suggests they cut out early from work and go shopping.


We learn a lot in this chapter: 1. We learn that Katie lived with her Aunt Angela during a period five months ago she calls The Terrible Four Months. 2. We meet Erica, a shy, quiet graphics staff, and learn that Mike and Paul, the other two on their team, are off having secret office sex in the copy room. 3. We learn that Katie has a sad secret about her sister, Anne, and that Katie has a leaky basement. 4. We discover that Katie chose to break up with her boyfriend and move back to Toronto to be an artist, but now she feels unfulfilled. 5. Finally, we learn that Katie and Melissa are going to a sample sale, to buy dresses for a wedding in a couple of weeks, where Melissa will have to face her ex-fiance.

Part Three: In which the streetcar breaks down

Because the streetcar breaks down, they end up taking a taxi to the sample sale. There is a phone in the taxi and it's ringing!

Part Four: She Answers The Phone

Katie answers the phone and begins talking to the guy on the other end. Turns out he's an Irish artist named Eoin who has started an art project -- he has set this cell phone "free" in Toronto and every day he calls it and talks to whoever answers it. That person has to send a photo of themselves to him and then leave the phone in an unusual location, and he is mapping the phone's movements. Katie really likes talking with him, and continues to do so while Melissa goes inside the sample sale.

Part Five: in which Katie is approached by a homeless lady and then helps Melissa pick dresses 

Katie is approached by a young homeless woman who asks for change. Katie gives her a lot of money. She contemplates asking her if she's ever run into her sister, Anne, who hasn't been in touch for weeks. Katie leaves Eoin's phone with the woman. Katie then helps Melissa pick out a gorgeous dress. 

Part Six: Katie has supper at her mother's house.

Katie ends up going to her mother's place for supper after the shopping trip. Her father is away for work and Jonah, Katie's nephew, has been dropped off by Anne's husband, Jason, because he needed a break from single-parenting. Katie and her mother have a fight about Anne -- her mother says she's ready to write her homeless, alcoholic daughter off, but Katie isn't ready to give up on her older sister just yet. 

Part Seven: She goes to work for a team-building exercise

Katie has to go to work on a Saturday to do Improv as a team-building exercise. On her way to work she gets a text from her mother apologizing for the fight, after which her boss, Don "Juan" Ambrose, gets on the streetcar and asks to sit next to her so they can "get to know one another" (in a non-creepy way). Katie gets a text from Melissa asking her to meet her and Nick, Katie's office crush, for breakfast.

Part Eight: She ditches the boss and tracks down the cute guy....

Katie decides she doesn't really like Nick -- he's too "businessey" for her.  She heads to the bathroom and hiding in the bathroom garbage can is Eoin's art-project cell phone! And it's ringing!

Part Nine: In which Katie meets Eoin again.

Katie answers the phone, calls herself Kimberly Clark, and speaks with a Southern Drawl. She can't keep it up, though, and admits that it's her, from the taxi cab. Katie, Melissa and Nick then head to their improv class.

Part Ten: In which "The Improfessionals" humiliate a shy, nervous girl. Or do they?

Shy, awkward Erica is called forward to participate in the improv games, and she turns out to be a natural. Katie is impressed that "a whole other person" is inside Erica, and it makes her think about how she left Bobby and his dreams of marriage, babies, and settling down because she didn't want to be that version of herself, she wanted to come back to Toronto and make it as an artist, but instead she's got a 9-5 job, a mortgage, and makes no art at all. 

Part Eleven: In which Anne shows up

Katie gets called down to the lobby, where her sister is waiting for her. Anne is drunk, and ranting a bit about how she used to work downtown, in big offices like this one, and it was her little sister who was the mess, and look at them now. She was just walking around the area and she thought she'd stop in to leave Katie a note -- no idea she'd be working on a Saturday -- the old Katie would never have done that. Anne leaves without telling Katie where she is living.  The security guard hands Katie the note her sister left for her. It says, "You were going to be fantastic."

 Part Twelve: In which Katie goes out for dinner, drinks too much gin, and secrets are revealed.

After getting the note from her sister, Katie goes out for dinner with Melissa, Mike, Paul, and Nora, with whom Katie has a bit of a rivalry -- they are both vying for "top spot" with Melissa. Katie drinks too much. Nora asks Katie about the art show she had been planning to have when she'd first returned to Toronto, which hadn't happened because Katie was too caught up with her Bobby-related heartbreak and her sister's troubles.

Part Thirteen: In which Katie's friends decide to organize an art show, and then author pleads for your help.

The group decides that they will help Katie organize another show, but then Melissa gets a text message from her ex-fiance David's sister to let her know that he had married the woman he jilted her at the alter for, and they would both be at the upcoming wedding Katie and Melissa would be attending the following week. Whew! That's quite the sentence.

Part Fourteen: In which we jump ahead in time and attend a wedding!

Katie meets up with Melissa on the subway and the two of them sit together at the church. They watch David arrive with Georgina, and Melissa doesn't take it very well. 

Part Fifteen: In which Katie makes a speech and a friend shows up to save the day!

 Katie gets drunk at the wedding. While Melissa dances with a stranger, Katie thinks about when Bobby had proposed to her, and she is overcome with sadness. It increases when she sees Melissa standing alone while David and Georgina seem so very much in love. When the MC calls for people who'd like to toast the bride and groom, Katie goes forward and makes a speech about how you cannot trust people to be honest or true, and she points to David and tells the room that he cheated on Melissa with Georgina and, quite literally, left Melissa at the alter on the day of their wedding. Melissa comes forward, is angry with her, and says there is no need for this, as she and David have talked and they are okay. Melissa leaves, and Eoin the artist appears at Katie's side and offers his help.

Part 16: In which Aunt Angela makes copious amounts of tea.

Eoin takes Katie to the place her aunt is house-sitting. He gets her number and leaves her there. Her aunt confiscates Katie's phone so she will stop sending Melissa "I'm sorry" texts. 

Part 17: in which Katie's mother shows up and gifts are exchanged

It turns out that Aunt Angela called Katie's mother, who has shown up to see if she can help her daughter. Angela hands out gifts that she brought for everyone from Spain, and there is an awkward moment when they realize there are gifts for Anne. Then Angela tells Katie that while she was in the bathroom, she got a text from Melissa.

Part 18: Conflict! A unanimous vote keeps Katie and Melissa from making up...

The text says that Melissa is still very angry and doesn't want to speak to Katie for a while. The next Monday at work, Katie goes to the empty store owned by Melissa's dad in Kensington Market that they were going to use for the art show. Nora is there, too. Katie tries to apologize to Melissa but Melissa wants nothing of it -- Melissa says they can't be friends any more, Katie is too much of a mess, too self-absorbed, and Melissa has to focus on her career. Then Nora answers a cell phone -- it's Eoin's, only Nora throws the phone into the street and it's run over and destroyed. Melissa declares that Katie isn't ready for an art show, and she and Nora leave. 

Part 19: In which Katie attempts Cognitive Therapy

Katie gets some take-out Thai food and goes home to try to sort through her feelings about her sister, Bobby, her job, her art career, and Eoin, not to mention Melissa, with some cognitive therapy exercises. Then Eoin calls to ask her out for the following evening. 

Part 20: In which Eoin's art project is revealed.

 Eoin invites her over to his place for supper and to see his art project. They have a great time. The project works like this: there is a large map of Toronto on the wall, with little glinting LED lights which represent where people were when they answered the phone. If you aim an iPad at one of the lights, an image of the person who answers fills the iPad screen, along with an audio quote of them speaking to Eoin over the phone. While Katie and Eoin are kissing, Katie aims the iPad accidentally at the wall, and it activates her sister's audio track.

Part 21: In which Katie and Eoin sit on a fire escape and fall in love a little bit.

 Katie and Eoin discover that at one point Anne answered the cell phone, sent in her photo, but refused to tell Eoin where she was; in her photo there is a 7-Eleven behind her. Katie tells Eoin all about her sister, and then fills him in on her failed dreams to be an artist. He promises that they will find Anne. 

Part 22: In which Katie and Eoin come closer to finding Anne

Because of the "7-Eleven" clue, Katie maps all the 7-Elevens in Toronto, looking for the ones her sister might have been at. She calls Eoin and after work that day they go out to see if anyone has seen Anne. They find a 7-Eleven on Yonge Street where the clerk remembers seeing her, but she was banned from the store about three months ago because the guy she was always with was caught stealing.  

Part 23: In which a tornado puts everything into perspective.

  They go into a coffee shop, where the waitress knows of Eoin -- turns out he's kind of a famous local artist. Then there is a tornado warning, and they have to hide in the basement, where Katie reveals that she's worried that when they find Anne and bring her home, Anne is going to be disappointed in Katie because she's not yet "fantastic". Her life is a mess and she wants it to be better, she wants to be the kind of person her sister envisioned she would be. When they leave the cafe, after the threat of the tornado blows over, Katie staples the note her sister left her, only she crosses out the word "were" and replaces it with "are", so the note now reads "You are going to be fantastic." 

Part 24: In which Katie gets serious

 Katie goes home to start working on an art project, when she finds a Facebook message from Nora inviting her to her to Melissa's 34th surprise birthday party. She sees that both David and Georgina are confirmed guests. She wonders if she should tell Melissa or not about these potentially unwanted guests. She then looks at the guest list and remembers how she used to hang out with all these people, until her sister really embarrassed her by showing up to brunch with all of them and drinking too many Caesars, about a year earlier. Katie starts sketching, and ends up drawing a picture of a large Caesar, with her face reflected in it.

Part 25: In which friendships are mended! 

Katie decides she has to tell Melissa about David coming to her party, so she asks Melissa for lunch. The two friends discuss all that's been happening (turns out Melissa's really stressed at work) and they make up, more or less. 

Part 26: In Which Katie Discovers a Previously Hidden Talent For Accents

Katie and Melissa are heading back to work when they get caught by Rebecca and Angus, two clients of Melissa's she was supposed to have lunch with, instead of Katie. To save the day, Katie pretends she is the Southern owner of a chain of hotels, and that she's an old, wealthy client of Melissa's, who she insisted come out to lunch with her instead of her other clients. Rebecca and Angus are appeased. Katie heads back to the office, tacking up copies of her Caesar picture on telephone poles the whole way. The pictures are all entitled, "you were going to be fantastic."  

Part 27: In which Katie hides under her desk for awhile, and then her mother turns up with an unexpected bit of news.

Katie's mother stops by the office to tell Katie that Jason, Anne's husband, is filing for divorce and suing for full custody of their son, Jonah. 

Part 28: In which we very nearly never get to the spray painting because Katie and Eoin keep making out!!

Katie ends up at Eoin's place with a sketch book full of Anne-related art. They make a cardboard cut out of one of the images and take it, along with some spray paint, to paint her artwork on bridges around the city, so that Anne might see it and realize that Katie is trying to get in touch. 

Chapter 29: In which Eoin really, really, really wants to go to jail.

While painting on a bridge, Katie and Eoin are caught by the cops. They're taken to a police station,  where they are released without charges, (much to Eoin's dismay -- he was looking forward to experiencing prison), but not before they meet Old Joe, an old drunk guy who used to hang around with Anne. He tells Katie that he and Anne used to live in a squatters' house in Eastview.

Chapter 30: In which Katie and Eoin meet even more cops, one of whom has a Ron Swanson 'stache.

Katie and Eoin decide to try and find Anne in the squatters' houses in Eastview. The meet some police officers who point out the most likely houses in the area where homeless people may be living.  

Chapter 31: In which Eoin and Katie ALMOST find Anne. And Katie feels awkward about the homeless.

In one of the houses they meet Becky, a young woman who tells them that Anne has been living there, on and off, for a few months. Anne is now trying to go sober, going to AA meetings, and has a job walking dogs. Katie and Eoin leave a note, asking Anne to get in touch. 

Chapter 32: In which Katie and Eoin attend a party.

Katie remembers that she and Eoin are supposed to go to Melissa's surprise party, which is starting at Nora's condo. They race home and get ready, and make it to the party with only seconds to spare. Nora shoves them in a closet to wait for Melissa's arrival.

Chapter 33: In Which Katie Comes Out Of The Closet (then goes back in, and then comes out a second time)

Katie and Eoin are at Melissa's party, where it turns out both Rebecca and Bobby (Katie's ex) are also in attendance. 

Chapter 34: In Which Melissa Cries 'Cause She Wants To (you would cry too, if it happened to you)

Katie learns that Bobby has come to Toronto because he is supposed to sign Eoin on for an art project in Vancouver. Bobby has no idea that Katie and Eoin are together, and Katie doesn't tell him. Melissa is upset because Dave (her ex) is there with his new wife, now pregnant. 

Chapter 35: In Which Katie and Bobby Have An Emotional Talk In The Rain

Katie overhears Eoin tell Bobby that he (Eoin) is in love with her. Bobby and Katie talk -- Katie tells Bobby she's sorry she hurt him, he tells her he's okay, he's pretty much over her. 

Chapter 36: In Which The Author Writes a Bunch of Dialogue Which May or May Not Have Any Bearing On The Novel As A Whole, But She Was On a Roll

The group heads over to the Rococo Room, where Rebecca tells Katie she wants to work with the Bansky-esque artist who's been covering the city with "You Were Going To Be Fantastic" art pieces.

Chapter 37: In Which Someone Finally Tells The Truth

Katie tells Rebecca that she is the Bansky-esque artist in question. 

Chapter 38: In which Katie's Feelings About Her Blossoming Career Very Closely Mirror The Author's, and A Family Supper Is Attended

Katie, her mother, aunt, and Eoin have a supper. Katie fills them in on what's been happening with her work and with her sister, Anne. 

Chapter 39: In Which Katie Learns Something Unsettling About Her Brother-in-Law

Jason  (Anne's husband) shows up at Katie's work, and it's revealed that he's looking for a divorce because he's seeing someone else.

Chapter 40: In Which We See Things From Anneʼs Point f View, (Such As It Is)

Anne gives us some background as to how she ended up in the predicament she now finds herself in. 

Chapter 41: Anne and Katie Reunite!

Katie poses as a dog owner and hires Anne to walk her dog (which she borrowed). Anne arrives and the sisters have a heart to heart about everything that's been going on. Anne consents to meeting up with her mother and aunt. 

Chapter 42: In Which The Original Author Returns

Anne invites Katie, their mother, and their aunt over to visit her at her squat. Aunt Angela arrives with Jonah, Anne's four-year-old son in tow. 

Chapter 43: In Which Anne and Jonah Reunite

Anne has a touching, though difficult, reunion with her son, and Katie decides to introduce her sister to Eoin. 

Chapter 44: The Story Resumes!

While they're visiting with Anne in her squat, her roommate arrives home, very drunk. This upsets everyone, so the reunion is cut short. Their mother insists that Anne will come home to live with her, but Anne refuses. Katie gets a mysterious phone call!

Chapter 45: In Which Katie's Advertising Campaign is Revealed!

Melissa is phoning. She wants Katie to get to the offices right away. It seems that Rebecca loves Katie's guerrilla marketing campaign and wants the team to get started spreading the posters, flyers, graffiti and little mini hotels all over Toronto that very night! They work all night long.

Chapter 46: In Which Katie Finds Herself on the Cusp of Fame

After a long night of spraying graffiti messages to advertise Rebecca's new chain of boutique hotels, Katie, Eoin and Rebecca go out for breakfast, where Katie discovers that her amazing, subversive advertising campaign has taken Toronto by storm. Just who is this mysterious artist, and what does her art mean?

Chapter 47: In Which Katie Finds Even More Fame and Eoin Gets Devastating News

It's the night of Eoin's art opening, and, after Katie and Melissa help Eoin to set up his food and wine, and after Anne arrives and announces she's living with Aunt Angela and working at a dog grooming shop, Katie is interviewed for a national radio show about her ad campaign, but she ends up talking more about her own art, which is gratifying. And then Rebecca arrives and talks with Melissa and Katie about them opening up their own advertising firm. The opening is a big success for both Eoin and Katie, but when they get back to Eoin's place they discover that Eoin is going to be deported back to Ireland.

Chapter 48: You Are Fantastic

Though Eoin wants Katie to move to Ireland with him, Katie decides to stay in Toronto to open the business and look after her sister. Eight months later, Katie and Melissa are about to hit the big time with their company and Anne is doing really well and has shared custody of her son. But Katie finds herself feeling quite sad -- she's broken up with Eoin and she's neglected her own art projects. Feeling like she's living the wrong life, Melissa and Anne urge Katie to travel to Eoin to while he's in New York, and re-evaluate what she wants: maybe she wants to work with Melissa only part time? Maybe she wants to get back together with Eoin and travel the world with him? Maybe she's ready to put on her own art show? Whatever she decides, she knows, it's going to be fantastic.