These powerful stories approach the often sentimentalized subject of romance with tenderness and insight into the heart-worn perspective of characters who have failed at love in the past. In lucid, revelatory prose, Fulton navigates the complexity of both mid-life courtship and adolescent rage with humor and intelligence.
After a gang of neighborhood boys attack Steven and his sister Jenny and dislocate Steven's shoulder, the Parkers live well on the resulting settlement money. Their dream of success seems fulfilled. But their period of high living soon ends, and each family member grasps at what they want most. Jenny, the 14 year-old baby of the family, longs for normalcy, a state she tries to achieve in her Mormon friends' religion and life. A stubborn optimist, Steven's father clings to his hopes of success even as his more practical wife tires of his dreams and longs for stability. For Steven, nothing is more important than keeping his teetering family together.