In less than a year, Henrietta has lost her husband and nearly all of her money and is about to lose her hard-won anonymity. After a lifetime spent trying to outrun the humiliation her own book caused her, Henrietta has reluctantly agreed to a reissue of The Inseparables, the salaciously filthy and critically despised best seller she wrote decades earlier.
Almost overnight, Arthur Wise has become one of the wealthiest and most powerful attorneys in America. His first big purchase is a simple beach house in a place called Bluepoint, a town on the far edge of the flexed arm of Cape Cod. It's in Bluepoint, during the summer of 1952, that Arthur's teenage son, Hilly, makes friends with Lem Dawson, a black man whose job it is to take care of the house but whose responsibilities quickly grow.