Bunny, a 1950s housewife and heiress to a small Texas oil fortune, grows bored with her own life and comparing herself to her sister. She first exerts creative control over the ranch house she shares with her husband in extravagant interior design - lush curtains, velvet sofas, and glass ashtrays, but she soon finds it's not enough. A pervasive loneliness drives her into the sudden center of a group of seekers who might be in touch with forces beyond her own understanding.
An aging Hollywood film star, Jessica, purchases the same house in an attempt to recede into the background of her own life. Bored with Los Angeles, and hoping to reenact a scene from Dallas, she instead finds she no longer knows how to blend in. She spends her days tanning and getting tipsy in the expansive lawn that she doesn't know how to maintain. But, when her past resurfaces in the present, she must make a choice to guide her own future happiness.
The house, now dilapidated and no longer in a desirable neighborhood, is bought on the cheap by Amanda, an aspiring influencer turned house flipper. She hopes to flip the house and win a reality TV show and, with it, a host of new followers. She soon realizes, her job, her interests, even her boyfriend, were chosen with a certain superficiality and this house might be the first tangible step to manifesting a new reality.
A steely-eyed feminist, multi-generational novel, Foundations is told in three parts following the lives of three women all living in the same Dallas house in different eras, whose experiences parallel the history of women's rights struggles in the American south.
"I devoured the hell out of this wonderful novel about three different women in the same house across the decades, dealing with unhappiness and doubt in their own, often wild ways. I loved the careful, compassionate way Stewart crafted these characters - it drew me in completely to their stories."
- Amber Sparks, author of And I Do Not Forgive You
"Was loneliness an emergency?" Abigail Stewart asks in this novel, rich in atmosphere and detail... As Stewart explores repetitions and recurrences over time, you keenly care about these characters who are linked by one particular house that may or may not be able to contain their desires and their dreams."
- Deborah Shapiro, author of Consolation