Famed presidential advisor Stephen Upton has suffered a stroke, and his four very different daughters gather in his perfectly appointed mansion outside Boston to await his death or recovery. In the weeks to come, each will learn one another's terrible secrets and the astonishing truth about the life they might have shared.
From the Publisher
Marilyn French has written an extraordinary novel about four sisters who come to terms with the haunting past they share - opening up, discovering themselves and one another for the first time. Their father, the rich and powerful Stephen Upton, lies in the hospital following a stroke. His four daughters - each born of a different mother and ranging widely in age - are estranged from one another. Gathered in Upton's country mansion, awaiting his recovery - or death - they eye one another suspiciously. The eldest, Elizabeth, cold, acerbic, a government economist, takes charge of running the household, just as her father would have expected. Mary, beautiful, charming, a social jet-setter, secretly agonizes about money and finding another wealthy husband. Alex desperately wants to be close to her sisters, but they mock her warmth, kindness, and lack of sophistication. And Ronnie, born of Upton's affair with his Mexican housekeeper, sleeps in the maid's room, feeling her sisters' contempt. Buried within each of them lies their father's legacy - the anger, resentment, and disillusionment they share but have borne silently all these years. At first it is their feelings of pain, rage, and fear that bind them, that continue to cast shadows over their lives. But slowly the walls between them begin to crumble and they come to accept, understand, even love one another. In the novel's powerful and cathartic climax, they are at last able to confront the father they share with what he has done to them. Marilyn French has created a profoundly moving novel in which four women discover sisterhood, and sisterhood sets them free.
Marilyn French has written an extraordinary novel of our times- a novel of family love and resentment, of sisterhood and fatherhood, of acceptance and rejection and the search for peace.
"A fierce and passionate novel informed by the same kind of anger that guided The Women's Room, yet tempered by the same eventual tone of hope."