• “A masterful portrait of indelible family bonds… told in the most elegant prose.”

    —Booklist (star review)

    “Beautifully precise… marvelously absorbing… Packer is an expert at complicated relationships.”

    —Kirkus Reviews (star review)

  • About the Book

    A sweeping, masterful new novel that explores the secrets and desires, the remnant wounds and saving graces of one California family, over the course of five decades.

    Bill Blair finds the land by accident, three wooded acres south of San Francisco. The year is 1954, long before anyone will call this area Silicon Valley. Struck by a vision of the family he might create there, Bill buys the property and proposes to Penny Greenway, a woman whose yearning attitude toward life appeals to him. In less than a decade, they have four children. Yet Penny is a mercurial housewife, overwhelmed and under-satisfied at a time when women chafed at the conventions confining them. And Penny will sacrifice anything to become an artist.

    Years later, the three oldest Blair children, adults now and still living near the family home, are disrupted by the return of the youngest, whose sudden presence and familiar troubles force a reckoning with their history and set off a struggle over the future. One by one they tell their stories, which reveal the intricate ways in which childhood experiences and relationships set the course for adult life and return us to our earliest selves, again and again.