When Char Hawthorne's husband dies unexpectedly, she is left questioning everything she once knew to be true: from the cozy small town life they built together to her relationship with her stepdaughter, who is suddenly t bound to Char in any real way. Untethered explores what bonds truly form a family and how, sometimes, love kws bounds. Char Hawthorn, college professor, wife and stepmother to a spirited fifteen-year-old daughter, loves her family and the joyful rhythms of work and parenting. But when her husband dies in a car accident, the step in Char s title suddenly matters a great deal. In the eyes of the law, all rights to daughter Allie belong to Lindy, Allie s self-absorbed biological mother, who wants to girl to move to her home in California. While Allie begins to struggle in school and tensions mount between her and Char, Allie s connection to young Morgan, a ten-year-old-girl she tutors, seems to keep her grounded. But then Morgan, who was adopted out of foster care, suddenly disappears, and Char is left to wonder about a possible future without Allie and what to do about Morgan, a child caught up in a terrible crack in the system.