Familiar focuses on Elisa, whose life at the beginning of the novel has been disrupted by the death of her son. Her marriage has fallen apart, and driving along a road one day she somehow is transported into an alternate universe where she has a slightly nicer car, the job she had wanted but gave up for her family, and her family still intact. However, she is constantly out of place, being completely unfamiliar with the relationship with her husband (relationship rules she 'forgets'--because she doesn't remember making them in the first place) and unsure if in this timeline both of her sons are still alive. They are, but estranged, and with the memories of one of her sons dying, Elisa has trouble navigating the complicated relationship between herself, her husband, and her children. As the novel progresses, Elisa tries to get answers about what has happened to her, and an explanation for why she remembers a totally different timeline (brain aneurism or sci-fi style parallel universe travel? She doesn't know). A through literary fiction treatment of a very sci-fi style plot device, with strong characterizations that continued into the somewhat unsatisfactory conclusion that only hit a wrong note as the ending approached.