At the centre: Greenie Duquette, the fiery proprietor of her own Greenwich Village pastry business. When Greenie's signature coconut cake is served to the governor of New Mexico, he invites her to be his personal chef; impulsively she accepts. And when she heads west with her four-year-old son but without her husband, she sets in motion a period of adventure and upheaval physical, emotional, sensual not only for herself but for others who are drawn into her orbit: Alan, her psychotherapist husband, alone in New York and trying to make sense of his own life; Walter, the urbane yet old-fashioned gay man who owns the beloved village restaurant where the govenor ate Greenie's confection; Scott, Walter's teenage nephew, whose dreams of becoming a musician bring him to his uncle's doorstep; and Saga, a young woman recovering from a traumatic injury. We watch as serendipity and determination pull these lives ever more tightly together over the course of the year that culminates in the tragedy of 9/11 a day that will galvanise each of the characters to seize life in a wholly new way. Julia Glass is at her best here: bringing a density of imagination to each character; weaving a dazzling tapestry of lives and lifetimes, of people and places; revealing the subtle mechanisms behind our most important, and often most tragic, connections to others. In IThe Whole World Over/I, she has given us another novel that pays tribute to the extraordinary complexities of love.