Four generations of women. Four generations of stories. Years of secrets. Rule of Seconds interlaces the extraordinary lives of four generations of one family in the Northern Ontario city of Sault Ste. Marie. The cyclical nature of themes and tragedy entwines the women and their histories. At age twenty-six, the narrator-protagonist Sheila recalls her past and that of her family in hopes of unearthing the cause of her painful epilepsy. Piecing together the depth of her troubled family history, Sheila discovers far more than she can cope with. Spanning from the 1920s to present day, the narrative depicts the unconventional life of Sheila's great grandmother who owned a three-storey boarding house and ran an illegal speakeasy in the basement. Rule of Seconds is a story about four generations of hard women, defying the conventions of their era, time and again.