A sprawling book about an American family from the 1930's up to the late 1980's, and the pivot point between these two time frames is August 1959 when everything changes for the family which reverberates through three generations. The Milton family patriarchs were Kitty and Ogden Milton. Milton was a successful commercial banker in New York. He travelled extensively throughout Europe, and especially in Germany, which in 1935 was undergoing a seismic shift in politics and governance with the rise of Hitler. Ogden truly doesn't see the signs and doesn't envision the danger he is subjecting his bank to. Kitty and Ogden have just experienced a great personal tragedy, but both have been brought up to soldier on, don't talk about the past, and make everyone think that you are doing just fine. So the tragedy that happened to their son is covered up and never dealt with. Kitty and Ogden go on to have have two girls and they have their younger son who was there when the tragedy occurred. . They purchase a private island off the coast of Maine, and begin building a dynasty. There are severe cracks under the surface of what looks like a perfect family to outsiders. In 1959, when their children are in their twenties, two strangers come to the island and the whole thing breaks wide open. All the secrecy, lies, and hidden emotions come boiling to the surface, and another tragedy happens. The book ends with the grandchildren trying to piece together what happened to their family. This is a very well-written book with beautiful characters - a sweeping family saga that searches into every crevice and corner of a prominent family's history until the truth breaks out, and that truth is very devastating to the remaining family members.