Years after traumatic events nearly destroy two families, Reasons for Waking explores the paths those families take to recovery and reconciliation. Philip, a professor in a small Southern university town is approached by the daug hter of the man who apparently caused his family’s long-ago tragedy. Together they join forces to retrace the events that upended both their lives and eventually manage to peel away years of misunderstanding, evasion, and estrangement to discover the truth. Throughout, the steady presence of Philip’s affectionate black Lab gives his life purpose and provides distance from others—until eventually, as the truth of the long-ago events is revealed, he finds that he has other reasons for living. Family secrets are exposed, and the walls that Philip built between himself and the world begin to crumble. Reasons for Waking explains a family mystery that shows how frayed our connections can become when we try to skirt the truth, and how facing the truth can heal us.