The story of Dinah and Martin Howells and their children. During a summer of transition, the family must adjust to the imminent departure of eighteen-year-old David for his first year of college, and Dinah must struggle against her nearly paralyzing sense of impending loss. Meanwhile, she alternately suffers from, and is enraged by, David's inexplicable displays of anger and unkindness. Anyone who has been a parent or child can identify with the Howellses. They are a family of complex, reflective personalities, and they all must deal witht he sometimes shattering, often unexpected, and always inevitable evoultion of the life of a family.