The renowned travel writer and novelist, Leon Riser, is facing not only middle age but terminal illness. He has sequestered himself in his cabin in the Rockies, his sole companion, his private duty nurse Fumiko Sato. An unexpected visit from his former step-daughter Iris forces him to revisit his troubled on and off again twenty-five-year love affair with Iris's mother, the famous singer-songwriter Lou Ann Catskill whom he has not spoken with in over five years. It seems that Lou Ann, who struggles with Bipolar Disorder, has walked out on her current husband and has gone missing. Iris hopes to enlist Leon's help in finding her.
Out of obligation to Iris, Leon puts aside his physical limitations and conflicted emotions, and agrees to accompany Iris as far as Santa Fe, Lou Ann's most recent domicile. Fumiko feels she has little choice but to accompany them. Their initial efforts come to naught and do little more than resurrect painful memories for Leon, forcing him to reexamine some of the seminal chapters in his tangled relationship with Lou Ann.
All the while, Lou Ann is forced to face her own culpability in the failure of their relationship. Their parallel cross-country odysseys eventually lead them to Austin, culminating in revelations, reckonings, and regrets. THE SIREN'S REFRAIN explores themes of aging, mortality, lost love, and regret. At its heart, it is a story of a love affair that has endured not only the passage of time but also the very bonds that both enabled and threatened it.