As George is dying, surrounded by his loving family, we learn about his life, and the lives of his father and grandfather before him. His grandfather was a New England preacher who became increasingly unstable. His father, was a good man, a lover of nature and a poet. A peddler by trade, he struggled with epilepsy and was ill-equipped to deal with his shrewish wife and abject poverty. In his dying moments George tries to make sense out of all of their lives. Poetic and touching.