After her mother committed suicide, Social Services placed Anne Marie Clark in foster care because she had no other family to turn to. There were rumors her grandmother gave up Anne's mother after testifying against a mob boss years ago, but she vanished without a trace,
Anne went from one foster home to the next, constantly uprooted until she came to live with the Andersons. Her life changed when Joe Anderson bought a flute at a garage sale, thinking the troubled child they'd taken in should join the school band. Anne excelled beyond anyone's expectations and hoped to go on with her music, but didn't win the scholarship she desperately needed. Just when all seemed lost, a letter arrived in the mail notifying Anne she is the beneficiary of a generous trust fund, enabling her to further her education at the prestigious Lakeshore University School of Music.
She arrives on campus in Chicago and makes friends with Emma Kowalsky. They stop for a burger and fries at a restaurant called Giovanni's, which soon becomes a Friday ritual. After initial misgivings, Ashley Montgomery joins them and they become an inseparable trio.
One evening at Giovanni's they are approached by three Northwestern University students: Pete Bogard, Tom Reinhart and Mitch Randolph. As they get to know each other, Pete becomes intrigued with the rumors about Anne's heritage and decides to research trials of mob bosses in the 70s and 80s, hoping to find some connection to Anne.
Mitch seems attracted to Anne and yet never stays in the picture for long. Each time he appears and then suddenly disappears from her life, her heart aches for what can never be. Given the wealth and privilege he was born into, his parents expect him to marry a young woman from a proper family. Not someone like Anne.
As Pete uncovers each new clue to her identity, Anne wonders if the truth will finally bring her to the family she never knew. Or will it lead to the man who spent decades plotting revenge against the woman who betrayed him?