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Claire Goldstein dislikes change, but she is about to be overwhelmed by a tsunami of problems. The editor of a newsletter for the Arts and Sciences College at a university in upstate New York, her values and beliefs are challenged when she is instructed to write a series of articles which present hydrofracking in a neutral light. At the same time, her son Stephen, a student at the university, is secretly planning a major anti-fracking demonstration on campus that will threaten his life and her career. There are rumblings of malaise in her marriage to Marco Capobianco, a social psychologist. Her closest friend Maude, who is many years older than she, has developed a serious health problem, and asks Claire to make an extremely difficult commitment. And her very old Bolshevik grandfather, who lives in a nursing home after a stroke rendered him speechless, has apparently fallen in love with a woman Claire considers utterly inappropriate.
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