From the author of Clara's Heart (1985) and A Warmer Season (1987): an intimate, affecting story of the repercussions for a suburban family of the death of a small child. A bedroom community outside New York, 1962, the heyday of suburbia: deep summer, barbecues, housewives drinking coffee, dad off to work on the 8:02. Seven-yearold Billy Kaplan is playing by a small pond one day when two-year-old Mark Rosen wanders up and makes a nuisance of himself. When Billy turns his back, Mark falls into the water and drowns. The tragedy changes the Kaplans forever. Mark's parents--and the community--unfairly blame Billy's negligence, in part, for the drowning. As a consequence, Billy's mother, Susan, is ostracized in the community; his father, Michael, takes solace in another woman, and the Kaplan family breaks up--Michael to become a chronic womanizer, Susan to find happiness in the arms of an Indian guru, and Billy to carry the guilt of Mark's death with him, until, years later, he is at last able to dispel it. Narrated in turn by Susan, Michael, and Billy, a tense, gripping story of a family falling apart--but finding itself at the same time.