If Nights Could Talk is a rich gothic story of a Southern family, a tale of wealth and emotional need that spans generations. Marsha Recknagel's memoir begins with the surprise appearance of her 16-year-old nephew, Jamie, who arrives on her doorstep and into her ordered, childless life. Fleeing a chaotic home run by Marsha's unstable younger brother and his wife, Jamie is an ominous creature-and the center of an ongoing family tug-of-war. For Marsha, to open the door is to risk opening herself up to the pain of the past. Reluctantly she takes him in. Thus begins the painful, terrifying, and extraordinary process of unraveling the damage inflicted by her family on one of its own.