Emily Maxwell is a widow who lives with her dog, Rufus, in Pittsburgh. Her days consist of reading, listening to classical music, doing crossword puzzles and gardening. When her sister-in-law Arlene collapses at the breakfast buffet at a local restaurant, it causes Emily to branch out a bit. She also starts thinking about her childhood and her relationships with her children (Margaret and Kenneth), her four grandchildren and her wish to spend more time them. O'Nan has written a reflective, humorous, yet real novel about a woman nearing the end of her life. A real gem...I loved it. Similar to the novels of Anne Tyler, Mrs. Bridge by Evan S. Connell and Drives Like a Dream by Porter Shreve.