A novel of the power of families - for good or ill . . .
For generations, the Nashes and Douglases have been the leading families in Nashborough, a town in the American South. The Nashes founded it. The Douglases, in the 1920s, are its richest citizens. The Nashes' only son has married a Douglas. But the six Douglas children, born into aristocratic luxury, and expecting happiness on a permanent basis, reach adulthood with the calamities of the 20th century about to burst upon them.
It is, however, the Nash-Douglas union that holds centre stage, as the beautiful and courageous, but thoroughly undomesticated Dartania, the second Douglas child, breaks the established social codes. And as the older generation, its values and outlooks, slowly disappear, its successor, caught in the surge for independence sweeping across America, experience the result - an atrophy of traditional family life, and accompanying loss of roots.
The town of Nashborough forms a microcosm, anchored in the past but altered by events as they reshape America: the Depression, World War II, the glory days of Hollywood, the rise of the civil rights movement.
Seen through the lives of two prominent families, this captivating and provocative saga - lyrical, humorous and wise - brings to life seminal changes that, over a period of only thirty years, transformed American forever.