On a quiet night in the best part of Greenwich, Connecticut, eight people assemble for a convivial dinner. But after that night, their lives will never be the same, as death erupts into their lives. They are a disparate group, including a former State Department employee, a Catholic nun, a linguistics professor, and a successful novelist. They, and the people they love, portray the arrogance and innocence, brutality and compassion in America today. Each character becomes a thread-dark, light, or a shade in between-in a carpet of intricate design, and as Howard Fast weaves them together, they embody the interdependence of human life and human guilt and the eternal work of redemption.