Part One ("The Shabbos Goy") takes place in the late '40s on the Lower East Side where we meet the Fox women—sweet, hopeful Anna, pregnant with her first child and reveling in her new life as a young matron in Levittown; caustic Sophie, Anna's older sister, married to Jack, a nearly silent eater; youngest sister Miri, the darling of the family who is confined to her bedroom with "a light, summer cold"; and fretful, embittered Ma, who, though a born American, still speaks in the cadences of the old country. Into this gathering enters Jimmy Constant, a young man about to move to California to start a pharmaceuticals firm with the visionary Everett Beekin; Miri's suitor, Jimmy will have to run a gauntlet of Fox women if he hopes to take Miri with him. Part Two ("The Pacific") skips a generation and crosses the continent to take us to Orange County, California, where Anna's children, Celia and Nell, reunite for the wedding of Nell's daughter, Laurel, to Ev, the charmingly inarticulate scion of the Beekin pharmaceuticals empire.
"…a blisteringly funny stew of sibling rivalry and assimilation angst." —Variety. "[Greenberg] has a profound and refreshing respect for the ineffable, an awareness of how every word spoken, no matter how honestly, contains at least the grain of a lie." —NY Times.