Sixty-year-old Louisa Hilliard--the last descendent of one of Charleston's oldest and most prominent families -- is caring for her ailing mother. An upright, unmarried spinster, Louisa has spent her life looking after others. In the aftermath of a hurricane that turns her life upside down, she finds a battered diary kept by one of her ancestors. The journal recounts the story of Diana, a 19th-century slave who worked for the Hilliards, but sought to improve her life and her means, and was severely punished. Diana's fate is gradually revealed, even as Louisa discovers objects in her house missing, moved, dented, and seemingly handled by an unappeasable presence. In some small way trying to set right age-old wrongs, Louisa discovers how her own life is entangled in her family's haunted history. So Far Back is a nuanced and resonant portrait of two families sharing an enduring past and an uneasy present.