EVA FONTAINE wakes up one night confused and alone—and a completely different person. It started when she walked out of her brother’s rehearsal dinner, after seeing her estranged father for the first time in many years. Then there was an unfortunate collision in a Boston street with a car. Waking up in a strange room, Eva thinks she’s home, in Paris, before realizing that she’s in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Instead of her own hazel eyes, olive skin, and brown hair, she sees a taller, blonder, paler person in the mirror.
Eva flees the room, panicked, and encounters her childhood friend, erstwhile lover, and father of her child BRIXTON DAVIS. He calls her Jade, asks if her head hurts or if she feels dizzy—Jade hit her head and is very minorly concussed—and sends her back to bed. Eva, he reminds her, got hit by a car and now lies in a coma.
Shutting her eyes, Eva considers various possibilities. Maybe she’s under heavy medication. Maybe she’s hallucinating. She concentrates on leaving Jade’s body, imagining hospital rooms, but to no avail. Eva recalls that JADE PRESTON is Brixton’s most recent girlfriend.
Jade Preston has had a short, but complicated relationship with Brixton. She wakes encased in darkness, cannot move or speak, and hears everything said in her presence. The talk in her hospital room revolves around Eva. Jade’s thoughts bounce from her overbearing mother to her hatred of Eva to her love life to her uncertainty of her future.
The next day, Eva wakes up and hears Brixton talking to their two-year-old daughter. Eva decides to leave Brixton’s apartment and uncertain of what else to do, goes into Boston and decides to live as Jade until she can figure out what the hell happened. Her theories include death, hell, purgatory, or perhaps a botched reincarnation. She finds out that Jade works as a waitress in the restaurant Brixton, a chef, owns and even works the girl’s shifts. In the meantime, Eva searches for answers in books, journals, and the Internet and visits her comatose body. She also explores Boston, where she grew up, in a way she hasn’t before, tinged with sadness.
In a dual timeline, Eva remembers entering high school and meeting Brixton. The two friends go away to New Orleans, Eva’s birthplace, for college, bringing them closer together as they grow into young adulthood and explore a new city. When Brixton’s father dies tragically, Eva watches helplessly as Brixton spins out of control into alcohol and women.
In present time, Eva finds spiritual and reincarnation experts and contacts them, growing more anxious about returning to her body and where Jade might be. Eva finally tells Brixton that she is not Jade, resulting in rapid-fire questioning until she answers everything correctly and Brixton must believe that Eva is, in fact, living in Jade’s body.
Jade is conflicted as she lives in Eva’s body. Growing more tense as time goes on, she is also making some solid decisions about her life. As she listens to Eva’s father speak, apologizing for leaving his children to be raised by his parents and speaking about his late wife, who died under mysterious circumstances, Jade can’t help but come to understand Eva. Eva and Brixton visit the body. Eva whispers that she is meeting an expert and prays that they can be returned to their respective bodies soon.
Through a professor of East Asian philosophy and big believer in reincarnation and a paranormal psychologist, Eva is grilled about her present life, Jade’s life, her mental health history, her religious beliefs, and is urged to think about concepts called “astral projection” and “walk-ins.”
But it’s not fast enough for Eva--in desperation, she leaves her daughter napping one afternoon and steps into a busy state route. Brixton pulls her back, gives her a heavy piece of his mind, and drags her back to his apartment where they argue, rehashing Eva’s situation, her state of mind and their past. They begin to make love.
Eva wakes up in the hospital—in her own body. She wakes up a little at a time, but during those waking minutes, she speaks to Jade, now back in herself and more resolved to move on with her life. But first, Jade writes Eva a long email, telling her what she heard while in Eva’s body for two weeks.
When Eva is discharged from the hospital, she attends her brother’s wedding and reception. Brixton asks her to marry him or at least consider living in the same country as him. She agrees and the two, finally, begin to plan a future—together.