When Elaine Levine’s eccentric older brother, Isaac, moves back from L.A. to the quiet suburb of Thornhill, Ontario, to help her care for her suddenly motherless grandchildren, he finds himself embroiled in even more neighbourhood drama than he would like. Meanwhile, a nanny, miles from her own family in the Philippines, cares for a young boy who doesn’t fit in at school. In a house down the street, a young mother is given the news that her marriage is over by her mother-in-law while her husband sits silently. And a woman in mid-life contends with the task of cleaning out the house in which she grew up, while her teenage son struggles with why his dad moved out.
This stunningly intimate collection of stories, which spans fifteen years in the lives of the Levine family and the other characters, is an exquisite portrait of a Jewish community, the secular and religious families who inhabit it, and the tensions that exist there, by a writer with a keen eye for detail, a gentle sense of humour, and an immense literary talent.