K. L. Cook's debut collection of linked stories spans three generations in the life of one West Texas family. Events both tender and tragic lead to a strange and lovely vision of a world stitched together in tenuous ways as the characters struggle to make sense of their lives amid the shifting boundaries of marriage, family, class, and culture. A series of unusual incidents-a daughter's elopement, a sobering holiday trip, a vicious attack by the family dog, a lightning strike-provokes a mother of five to abandon her children. An oil rigger, inspired by sun-induced hallucinations, rescues his estranged wife, who doesn't appreciate his chivalry. In the wake of his father's and brother's deaths, a teenage boy finds a precarious solace working with his mother at a country-western bar. A cosmetics salesman schemes to buy Costa Rica and flirts dangerously with mobsters in Las Vegas. A woman fleeing her fourth marriage arrives at a complicated understanding of love and responsibility. Railroad worker and conman, grieving son and battered wife-these characters explore the limits of family fragility and resilience. Their stories-suggesting unlikely connections between comedy and pathos, cruelty and generosity-promise a hard-won dignity and hope.