The three Saperstone siblings, who are scattered throughout the country and leading very different lives, are drawn back home to Saratoga, New York, when their mother dies. What they discover there shocks them: she has left behind a much larger estate than they could ever have imagined. The wealth, as they find out, comes in the form of long-term investments bequeathed by Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, and Thomas Edison - who called themselves "the vagabonds" - to the siblings' grandmother.
The money had been a payment, offered as hush money for a long-ago night of indiscretion and handed down through the generations. As a result, the three siblings soon discover that inheritance can alter not merely their separate fortunes, but their shared sense of the past.