Ceramics artist Jean Horemarsh has just spent 3 months caring for her mother who is dying of a terrible cancer. The ordeal has left her exhausted and thoughtful. After her mother dies, Jean returns to her own home and her husband, Milt who is a substitute English teacher. Jean tells Milt that she wishes she had killed her mother before she got so sick. Thus begins an idea in Jean’s mind; because no one should suffer the indignities of aging and illness like her mother did, she will give each of her friends one final, perfect moment and then, one by one, kill them.
Her friend Dorothy, married to a mentally-impaired ex-boxer who requires constant care, is in a bad situation that will only get worse. Then there is Adele Farbridge, Natalie Skilbeck, and her childhood friend Cheryl Nunley who left town after she got pregnant and hasn’t been seen since. Practical Jean is humorous and, at times, truthful about subjects which most of us don’t like to think about.