Collateral victims of violence. Lives interrupted. Mental health. "When Stained Glass Shatters" is a fable about the loved ones left behind as told by Chao Graham in flashbacks as she and her grandfather drive to her high school graduation practice.
Twelve-year-old Chao is being raised single-handedly by Ronni, a brilliant litigation attorney who works at a “big law” firm in San Francisco’s Financial District. They are commuters living in a Berkeley (or, Berserk-ly, as Chao calls it) color-filled, second-floor Victorian flat.
After stealing into Ronni’s diaries one morning, Chao, with her best friend’s help, decides she has two issues to resolve: first, she must get rid of Ronni’s clearly unfaithful doctor boyfriend. Second, she must convince Ronni to stop talking all that power-to-the-people stuff and put her money where her mouth is.
Ronni ultimately accepts the second challenge and signs up to teach a business law class at the local prison. After Ronni takes on an African-American student’s wrongful conviction case pro bono, their lives take inexplicable twists and turns until the day Chao returns home to discover unspeakable tragedy.
For the past five years, Granddad and Mimi have tried to get their granddaughter to face her circumstances head-on but, instead, she dances. Incredibly well. And that, without more, is not a good thing. It is during the ride to graduation that Chao is forced to come to terms with ALL of her personal demons and find the moral to her personal story.
Of course, that’s exactly how her grandparents planned it.