Walter Samson is a successful book editor in post–World War II New York. He has money, an interesting wife, two smart children, and reason to believe he’s leading the good American life - until a chance meeting with Barry Rogers. Barry is blue-collar, handsome, single, and poor. Walter is instantly drawn to Barry and, despite the considerable risks, installs him in the Samson’s three-story house on the Upper East Side, where the two men try to keep their amorous relationship secret.
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.