Since it's winter and Abby wants to stay in shape, she decides to jog home instead of taking the bus. She arrives home to find a bundle on the front porch that is actually a baby! He's wrapped in a little blanket and has a diaper bag but nothing else. Not sure what to do, she calls Kristy who immediately comes over with her grandmother. Her mom gets home in time to see everything and freak out a little.
Kristy called the police, and since they only have three officers on the force, Sergeant Johnson shows up. Abby's mom flips out a little when she sees the blanket wrapped around the baby and sneaks off to talk with him. After he speaks to Abby and everyone else, he decides to just let them keep the baby until they can find his mother. Abby decides to start calling him Eli.
Abby's mom clearly knows something is up. She takes a bunch of time off work, keeps acting really sneaky, and even glosses over the whole thing when her parents call. Abby investigates, but the only thing she finds is a receipt from a pharmacy in NYC. When she finally calls to check on it, she thinks it might be her mom's prescription. The guy has nothing under that name, so she asks about Goldberg, her mom's maiden name, and he says there is only one Goldberg registered with them and it's an M. Goldberg. Way to break confidentiality laws there, guy!
Mallory and Jessi started taking a writing class at the rec center and think they know who left the baby behind. It's a woman who wrote a story about a mom abandoning her baby. They spend half the book following her around like crazy people before finding out that she has no kids and just wrote a story. They also decide to host a writing event for the kids they sit for and throw a poetry slam at the end of the month.
The kids in Stoneybrook act like they've never seen a baby before. Like half the kids in town come over one day until Eli freaks out. They all sit down to work on their writing and all write stories about him. It's seriously freaky. The BSC members all start popping by too just to see him. Abby's mom finally hires a nanny named Erin, who they all suspect. Kristy thinks she's the mother or knows the mother because Erin accidentally called the baby EJ instead of Eli. Abby thinks she's just creepy. Yes, because being a 13 year old girl obsessed with babies is totes normal.
Abby decides to throw a sleepover so everyone can fawn all over him. Mary Anne brings him a quilted pillow she made, and everyone else goes crazy. They even fight over who gets to change his diaper. Abby's mom starts to tell her something important but changes the subject when the club members arrive. She then refuses to talk about it anymore.
This all leads up to her mom suddenly rushing out of the house one day. Abby goes through her stuff and finds a note with Miriam on it and remembers that her mom has a younger sister. Miriam was so wild and crazy that they all pretty much cut her off, and even her own parents stopped talking to her. Abby and Anna go through their mom's picture albums and only find pictures of Miriam when she was a kid.
Abby then calls a hospital in NYC, finds out her aunt is there, and leaves to take the train there. She gets to the hospital and sees her mom and her aunt. Her mom finally tells her that Miriam is a diabetic and stopped taking care of herself. She brought Daniel – the baby's real name – to them, started getting sick, and finally just left him there. She supposedly left a note too, but Abby's mom took it out. Miriam got even sicker and fell into a coma, which is why she never called or anything. Abby's mom says she'll be part of their family now and doesn't even punish her for sneaking into NYC on her own.
In the end, her grandparents come to town from Florida and make up with Miriam. They even ask her to come and live with them for awhile. They all head to the poetry slam and listen to the kids do all their crappy stuff. The best part is the triplets doing poetry about boogers and puking. Abby then reflects on the fact that she finally has her family together and how great she feels.
*Kristy isn't crazy about the poetry slam idea, but Mal explains that it's for all types of writing. Um, no, Mallory, it really isn't. A poetry slam is a poetry event; it's right there in the name.
*Abby's mom says that Miriam had Daniel a few months before she and the father broke up. Gasp, does that mean she had premarital sex??
*Miriam being wild and crazy was just basically her hanging out with guys who drove motorcycles and breaking her curfew. She apparently also asked her sister to bail her out financially a few times too. Oh yeah, I can totally see why they cut her off.
*I really dislike Abby's mom. First, there's no way someone who was in culinary school could suddenly get a job in publishing. I also hate that she decided to move them to Stoneybrook while still working in the city and thinks it's cool that her kids are home without her for like three hours every day.
*I also hate that Kristy has Charlie drop her and Abby off at meetings because her house is so far away, but there are so many mentions in later books of everyone jogging or riding their bikes back and forth.
*Mary Anne somehow makes a quilted pillow for Eli in less than a week. I know how long one of those projects takes, and she must have not done a single other thing.
*Even if the sergeant agreed that Eli/Daniel was Miriam's baby, I doubt he would let them keep him without going through the proper channels first. It also seems unbelievable that they would just hand him back to his mother later. She literally left him on a cold porch by himself!
*The writer says that she left a fully stocked diaper bag with him, but Abby didn't notice it squished in the seat until she picked up the baby. The writer obviously has no idea how big car seats are because there is no way there would be room for a diaper bag in there.
*Maria writes a story about a person in a green car dropping off Eli. Abby calls to ask her about it, she's asleep, and Shannon makes her get up to talk to her on the phone. Turns out that she was home sick from school, saw a green car pull up, and someone get out and put something on the porch. Miriam supposedly used her last few dollars to rent a car and drive out there.
*Claudia wears a red flannel mini dress with a black and white checked men's vest, red high tops, and black tights. It seems a little gungy for her.
*Stacey wears carefully ripped jeans with a stylish rip across the knee, brown Hush Puppies, a white long sleeve shirt, and a green vest. I totally wore something very similar in college around this time. Anyone else rocked the sweater vests?
*The book takes place in February, which makes the plot even worse. Miriam drops her kid off in winter, drives back to the city, and checks into the hospital. Was there not a hospital in Stoneybrook or somewhere nearby in Connecticut? Also, why wouldn't she just call and be like, “hey, I know we haven't spoken in awhile, but I'm super sick and need someone to watch my son”?
*In a super shitty move, Rachel – Mrs. Abby – actually cut her sister out of some pictures. Anna finds one of Rachel and her parents with Miriam cut out.
*I really don't like Abby and this book doesn't help. She thinks she has a special bond with Eli and in the end, she's like oh well he still has a bond with me but I guess it's okay he has one with his mom too.