A four-day visit by his best friend, Tom Walker, a traumatic experience in Iraq, and a failed love relationship cause Jonathan Adams, in his middle age, to struggle to re-create himself. Tom’s effort to help Jonathan orchestrate his transformation causes a catastrophic collision of their past and present worlds.
In spite of having built a solid, successful career as a college professor and a politician, Adams is a flawed and fragile man. He can’t make commitments; his moral compass has been destroyed by what he’s seen and done in Iraq; he has a neurotic fear of rejection and a compulsive need to be liked and respected. He is sure he was infected with his anxieties in his childhood–that his angst grew inside him like a cancer cell–dormant, until shaken awake when he could no longer hide his life’s disappointments with his life’s accomplishments.
His story, past and present, is the tale of a Lost Generation–children of the 1950s and 1960s who comfortably slipped into their roles as movers and shakers in a ready-made America, who are finally challenged in their middle age, if only to defend their relevance.
A life well-lived in contemporary America is built on happiness, recognition, and acceptance. None of these outcomes were as difficult to realize as Adams was so absolutely sure they had to be. The closer he was to snaring them, the more he would overreach.