From the moment Emma Sutton walks into the esteemed Fitzcoopers auction house, the one-time media darling knows exactly what she wants: an exquisite antique dining table. What she doesn’t realize is what she’s finally getting: the chance to set things right.
Fresh from a year-long stretch in prison and the media blood-letting that accompanied her fall, Emma needs a clean start. She finds her life just as she left it, filled with glittering business successes and bruising personal defeats – the rolling television cameras and chauffeured limousines, the awkward Sunday dinners at home. Deep down, she knows she needs to find a better way, but she can’t imagine what it might be.
Enter Benjamin, a terminally charming social worker, who moonlights for Emma on the weekends, and Gracie, an overweight third-grader who’s one of his wards. The unlikely trio is surrounded by an eclectic supporting cast – a tiny Japanese diplomat, a bossy yoga teacher, Emma’s prodigal ex-husband and daughter – who are all drawn together by the dynamic woman at the novel’s center. Through the subtle power of his telling prose, Philip Galanes transforms this Park Avenue morality tale into a thoroughly winning, surprisingly moving tour de force.