At age 55, Frank, diagnosed with prostate cancer, still needs to define himself.
In the three days of Thanksgiving weekend, 1999, Frank must resolve life-changing issues. His second wife, Sally, has left him to live with her first husband who miraculously re-appeared from the dead.Meanwhile, his first wife, Ann Dykstra, has become widowed and makes overtures towards him again. Rashly, he invites her to join him for the holiday dinner at his seaside home which he purchased when he and Sally married eight years ago. His attractive, 25 year-old daughter, Clarissa, a Harvard graduate, flirting with bisexuality, has moved in with him and helped him choose his most effective cancer treatment at the Mayo Clinic. His 27 year-old son, Paul, from whom he is estranged, is due to visit with his odd girlfriend who has lost an arm.
Frank, still in real-estate, has gone into business with a young Tibetan Buddhist who now wants to buy him out. Complicating these matters is the undecided election of 1999, when the country still doesn't know whether Bush or Gore will be the next president.
This 496-page novel journeys from the wealthy New Jersey suburb of Haddam where Frank played out his "Existence Period", unfolded in the second novel, "Independence Day", to Sea Cliff where he lived idyllically with Sally until she left him. Will his cancer be cured, will Sally return to him and will Frank experience an "a-ha"moment, when his future opens up with sudden clarity?
Events move slowly. The sometimes clueless Frank bumbles along, neither accepting nor rejecting the reality of suburban and seaside life. He weighs the variety of choices available to him.
This report prepared by Betty-Jeanne Korson