When the four Essinger children gather in Austin for Christmas, they all bring their news. Nathan is hoping to become a Federal judge. Susie’s husband has taken a job in England. Jean has asked her boyfriend and boss to meet her family. Paul has broken up with Dana, mother of their son Cal. But their parents have plans, too, and invite Dana to stay, hoping to bring the couple back together. As the week unfolds, the Essingers all face conflicts of loyalty and tensions between old families and new. Rich, intimate, and deeply perceptive, this book beautifully explores the deep-rooted division between the world we grow up in, and the life we make for ourselves.