The Belsey family is NOT your typical family! Living in Wellington, a fictional college town in the Massachusetts, their lives revolve around the "snooty" liberal arts college (Wellington) at which Howard Belsey, the father, is a distinguished professor of art history. Although he has been happily married to Kiki for nearly thirty years, Howard has an affair with one of his college colleagues. Although the affair is in the past, it still haunts the family and creates problems for Zora, one of the Belsey children who sees herself as a poet and desperately wants to get into the class of the person with whom Howard has had the affair. In the meantime, Jerome, the eldest of the Belsey children, has fallen in love with Victoria Kipps, the daughter of Prof. Kipps, the visiting art historian to Wellington from England, who also happens to be Howard Belsey's arch enemy! Finallly, youngest child Levi Belsey has decided to take up the cause of a Haitian "brother" (the Levi children are products of an interracial marriage) to help restore dignity to their country.