Ambitious novel by T. Coraghessan Boyle chronicling the adventures of three families in a fictionalized version of Peekskill, New York. These families are the patrician van Warts, the plebian van Brunts, and the American Indian Mohonks.

The novel takes place over three time periods: colonial times, when the van Warts and van Brunts come over from Holland; the 1940s; and the 1970s. The basic theme is how the actions of our ancestors can have reprecussions for many years to come, so the split-time device works well.