Improvement Summary
Joan Silber

Everything you need to understand or teach Improvement by Joan Silber.

  • Improvement Summary & Study Guide

Improvement Overview

Improvement is a fictional novel by Joan Silber that interweaves six narratives spanning across time and space to tell a larger story of love, loss, and redemption. Reyna is a single mother struggling to scrape by in New York City. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, she reconnects with her eccentric aunt, Kiki, who ran off to Turkey when she was a young woman. Reyna is trapped in a toxic relationship with her charmingly manipulative boyfriend, Boyd. Inspired by her aunt, Reyna does something unexpected. She makes a last-minute decision that results in tragedy. The novel follows the lives of various men and women in New York City, Turkey, Virginia, and Germany, tracking the subtle ways they are all connected by this tragedy, before ultimately returning to Reyna and her struggle to find redemption. Silber interweaves these six tales to tell a universal tale about love, loss, redemption, and the search for what really matters in life. Improvement is a story about all the unrealized stories in this world---of love, ambition, adventure, heartbreak, connection, dual identity, guilt in the face of unspeakable loss, courage, and the healing power of compassion.

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