The moment Joan Castleman decides to leave her husband, they are thirty-five thousand feet about the ocean on a flight to Helsinki. Joan's husband, Joseph, is one of America's preeminent novelists, about to receive a prestigious international award, and Joan, who has spent forty years subjugating her own literary talents to fan he flames of his career, has finally decided to stop. From this gripping opening, Meg Wolitzer flashes back to 1950s Smith College and Greenwich Village and follows the course of the marriage that has brought the couple to this breaking point--one that results in a shocking revelation. With her skillful storytelling and pitch-perfect observations, Wolitzer has crafted a wise and candid look at the choices all mean and women make--in marriage, work, and life. On the eve of her husband's receipt of a prestigious literary award, Joan Castleman, who has put her own writing ambitions on hold to support her husband, evaluates her choices and decides to end the marriage.