• The Wingo family is introduced as a dysfunctional group growing up during the 1950s.
• Tom's father is cold and base while his mother is beautiful and elegant.
• Tom's childhood is one of fluctuations and extraordinary changes that leave the Wingo children irrevocably scarred.
• Tom and his family are sitting on the porch looking out at the ocean when Tom's mother calls to give him bad news.
• Lila arrives to tell Tom that his sister, Savannah, has tried to commit suicide again.
• Tom and Sallie take a walk on the beach to discuss Tom's course of action and the state of their own marriage.
• Tom and Luke visit New York City to attend one of Savannah's poetry readings.
• That night Luke and Tom are awakened by Savannah in one of her psychotic fits.
• Luke and Tom wonder why they are not as affected as Savannah by...
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