Richard Yates' Pulitzer Prize-winning novel paints a vivid picture of the postwar generation of Americans trying to adjust to family life in the 1950s.
Frank and April Wheeler are a young couple whose boredom, love affairs, and dashed hopes are turning the American dream to ashes.
Following the disastrous performance of the play and their fight afterwards, Frank and April's marriage is struggling.
Struggling with an unhappy marriage and a hopelessly dull job, Frank finds solace in the arms of secretary Maureen Grube.
Frank has started an affair with a secretary at work.
But April has come up with an idea to change their lives.
Frank and April have hit on a plan of escaping to Europe with their children.
Now they must break the news to their neighbours and friends.
Frank and April Wheeler plan to go and live in Paris, but April's news puts an end to their dream of escape.
April discovers she is pregnant.
Frank is shocked by her proposed solution.
The Wheelers have to tell everyone that they are not forsaking the New York suburbs after all.
Frank ends his affair with Maureen and decides to confess all to April.
The morning after Frank's confession, all is calm in the Wheeler household until the tragic horror of April's plan unfolds.