fter Edie suddenly dies in a car accident, she narrates her story from beyond the grave when Susan, Bree, Gabrielle, Lynette, and Karen McCluskey travel out of town to visit Edie's estranged teenage son, Travers, at his boarding school to deliver her ashes to him. During the long car drive, each of the five women think back to their most significant time in Edie's life. Susan recalls how she first met the superficial and man-lusting Edie and how she taught the klutzy Susan how to deal with her place in the world. Lynette recalls how Edie took her to a rough biker bar while she was ill with cancer and encouraged her to push on. Bree recalls how Edie encouraged her to visit Orson in prison for his crimes. Gabby recalls how she inadvertently challenged Edie's superiority complex during a night on the town in carousing for men. Finally, Mrs. McCluskey recalls how Edie confided in her about how she gave away her son to protect him from her own self-destructive lifestyle; she planned to live life as fully and recklessly as she could.

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