Author Sue Miller has written a timely novel about marriage and marital infidelity. Meri Fowler, a recently-married, pregnant woman in her mid-thirties moves with her husband Nathan into a New England townhouse adjacent to one owned by Delia and Tom Naughton, a couple in their seventies. Delia is the main occupant of the house; her husband Tom is a renowned liberal senator who also is a notorious philanderer. Although Delia and Tom have not lived together as man and wife for many years, they have not divorced and in fact periodically get together for a romantic rendezvous.
As neighbors, Meri and Delia become close confidantes. Delia provides the closeness Meri never received from her mother. As the plot unfolds, Meri endures disconcerting emotions after the birth of her son, and Delia experiences a new lease on life when she participates in the rehabilitation of Tom’s health after he suffers a stroke. Then, a disastrous event upsets it all.