Here we meet four New York City apartment dwellers, all of whom live on a single short block on the Upper East Side, where, unbeknownst to them - but delightfully beknownst to the reader - they "pass like ships in the night." There's Walter, whose wonderful wife has just left him; there's Edith, a fiftyish virgin whose once-famous mother has just died; there's Bunny, whose big sister has run away and left her behind to deal with their mother and their mother's boyfriend; and there's Belle, whose married lover, Rudy, has died on the fire escape wearing her dead husband Herb's pajama top. As they struggle to squeeze past their losses, Walter and Edith and Bunny and Belle are forced out into the hallways and elevators, onto the sidewalks, into the shops and restaurants, where their passing shadows interweave as their elbows brush. Abigail Thomas leaves us believing that these ships might actually find each other by daylight. And through that possibility she illuminates and humanizes New York City.