Tom Harper, a successful businessman, lives in Cleveland Heights with his wife Holly, a talented amateur chef and horsewoman, and their teenage daughter Rachel. Tom has made money in local ventures, and he now plays a lot of tennis and works part time with his father, managing an office products company in downtown Cleveland. He wakes up one morning, to hear Holly say that she can’t go on with the marriage. She offers no explanation, and goes out the door a few hours later with her yoga teacher. Tom soon learns that Holly has left him for a woman, a bank manager from Cleveland’s West Side named Sibyl Prentiss. Tom is typical of his time and place, a man whose expectations for his wife’s performance as mother and homemaker have led to this state of affairs. But at his 30th high school reunion, Tom meets Kathryn Osborne, a beautiful divorcée now living in New York with her teenage daughter. Tom follows Kathryn to New York, but a profound and moving love affair is cut short some months later when Kathryn is diagnosed with cervical cancer. The story follows the tortuous path of Tom's search for self-knowledge, which takes him to California and beyond.