This novel offers a first-class ticket to anyone who has ever fantasized about leaving an old life behind for a new one. What would it be like to just walk out the door and start over from scratch somewhere else? Forty-year-old Delia Grinstead leaves her husband and three children behind in Baltimore while she starts a new existence in Bay Borough, Delaware. This experiment in self-reliance enables her to convince herself that she is something more than a serf to her physician husband and a phantom to her children. In her 13th novel, Anne Tyler zeroes in on the inadequacies of contemporary family life where individuals are worn down by "the grinding gears of daily life" and by the pain of being taken for granted. As Delia's sister tells her, "Each life is a kind of assignment." In this wonderful novel, adults take a long time to learn the difficult lessons of love, loyalty, and honoring the preciousness of one's mate.