This novel is told through the lives of its characters - Fos, an amateur scientist and his wife Opal, their impulsive best friend Flash, and their son, Lightfoot. The story touches on many themes such as the price of scientific and technological progress, the American Dream, and the enduring power of love. Set between the two world wars, the novel weaves personal tragedy with large-scale tragedy, as Fos unwittingly contributes to both the sickness of his wife and the development of the atomic bomb. Marianne Wiggins' writing is beautiful, poetic and insightful. This novel touches both your heart and the mind.