When Julia Lambert settles into her idyllic Maine house for the summer, she plans to spend the time tending her fragile relationship with her father, a retired but demanding neurosurgeon, and her gentle mother, who is descending, unnoticed, into Alzheimer's. But a shattering revelation intrudes: her youngest son Jack, far from being a charming maverick, has spiralled into heroin addiction.
In attempt to save him, Julia calls on all the members of her loose–knit family: her elderly parents; remarried ex–husband; detached sister; and combative eldest son. As heroin sweeps through each of their lives, with its impersonal and devastating energy, it drags the family into a world in which deceit, crime and fear are part of daily life.
In her cool, elegant prose, Robinson delivers a novel of loss and love that is complex, surprising and breathtaking in its pace.