The four McDonald siblings have grown up, but their lives are still effected by their mother abandoning the family almost forty years ago. Oldest child Deborah became the caretaker for her brothers and sister when their mother left and now is in a less-than-perfect marriage. Robert lives happily with wife Vesna, but suffers from compulsive tendencies. Younger brother James, now a painter, has always been handsome and easygoing, but when he is put in touch with Rosemarie, their long-lost mother, he has his own crisis of conscience. Meanwhile, Meredith, the baby of the family, is very close with her father, Alex (who may be suffering from demetia), yet drinks too much. In and around Melbourne, they all struggle with their present and past lives--individually and as a family. Without a Backwards Glance reminded me of The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards.