Asteroidea is about regeneration: personal, professional, cellular. As the novel opens, marine biologist Claire Holt is at a crossroads. Having spent her career experimenting on starfish, seastars or asteroidea, to transfer their regenerative capabilities to mammals, she’s grown depressed.
With her grants running dry, and her two daughters facing their own life changes, Claire feels defeated. To cope, she takes a journey back to her childhood home, only to discover several destabilizing facts about her past. As she tries to handle the resulting intergenerational and emotional fallout, a graduate student arrives at her lab with a newly discovered species of asteroidea. Juggling emotional and familial upheaval, as well as this fresh direction for her research challenges Claire to re-engage in both her work and in life.