Dannie Faber has lots of reasons to feel blessed. A children’s book illustrator, she shares a loving marriage with Tom, a professor, with whom she divides her time between one of Boston’s finest suburbs and a beloved beach house in Truro, on Cape Cod. They have equally fortunate friends and a daughter, Beth, who has found success in Manhattan as a magazine editor. Suddenly Dannie’s fairy tale comes to an end. A rich newcomer to Truro builds a hideous “trophy house” down the beach from the Fabers’, irritating the town’s inhabitants before he’s even moved in and setting off shock waves that erupt in a nasty racial incident. With an unfortunate turn of events, Dannie’s life begins to unravel. Beth loses her boyfriend and quits her job, her best friend falls in love with the owner of the “trophy” house, and Dannie’s own marriage falls apart.
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