Time flies, even when you're not having fun. At 32, Sarah Andrews feels as if she's squandering her life on a stalled career and superficial relationships. When she's forced to return to her old home town for her father's funeral, she's not sure whether the trip will be the most difficult experience of her life or just a hugely disruptive sadness. In fact, she can't decide which is worse: losing her father, whom she never felt she knew or pleased, or having to be around her mother, who always seemed more interested in her husband than in her daughter.
Maybe you can't go home again, but sometimes you still have to visit. (that's your best line) Stuck where she doesn't want to be, Sarah decides to embrace encounters with old friends, try to understand her ambivalence toward her father, and make peace with her mother. Along the way, she runs headlong into the last person she expects (or wants) to see: Dennis Petersen, the ex-boyfriend she dumped nine years earlier when she caught him having sex with her best friend.
Will her trip turn out to be about grief and the past, or will it help Sarah redefine the present and make more of her future? An Unexamined Life follows Sarah's attempts to find context, not just closure, and to understand herself as well as the friends, loved ones, and lovers who are woven into her life.
This is a run down of the plot. Frankly I want to kick Sarah in the keister and tell her to get some damn gumption. Introspective navel gazing is, as you might imagine, about the last thing on my list of things to read about. (Naval gazing on the other hand is rather fun during Fleet Week)
You're going to need some kind of levening agent here to get this out of the morass of mud blood and melancholy. That one best line hints at some humor. If you've got it, this could sure use a dose of it.