Peter Spaulding is about to graduate from a New England boarding school and enter Yale. He is a leader, an athlete, admired. But he harbors secrets and secret pain: banished to the school six years ago by his stepfather, emotionally deserted by his mother, Peter finds support and acceptance at this school. He also finds his first love affair - with Cate, the young wife of Oliver Manning, his English professor. Now it is just a few weeks before graduation, and Cate is found dead. Was she murdered? Did she commit suicide? What Peter discovers in the aftermath of this traumatic event is more profound and revealing than grief. He is forced to confront the difference between image and reality - with Cate, who promised her love; with Oliver, who gave him the love that his parents denied him; and with Melissa MacQuire, the wife of Peter's coach, who loved them all.
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