"There is about Maggie Estep's work a directness, a clear determination--a drive to cut through, to break through, to claw through--that is impressive."
--A.M. Homes, author of The Mistress's Daughter
Alice Hunter is a thirty-six-year-old professional gambler living in Queens, NY. She is modestly successful as a horseplayer and enjoys her work. Though avidly pursued by her lover, Clayton, who she refers to as The Big Oaf, Alice's closest companion is Candy, a small, spotted dog, and Alice likes it that way. When Clayton's overzealousness leads Alice to ask one of her racetrack cronies to intimidate Clayton into leaving her, a few things go wrong and Alice turns to her half-sister Eloise, a toy maker, whose own lover has just been killed in a freak accident.
There is fierce love between Alice, Eloise, and Kimberly (their unconventional mother), but it takes Alice's accidental discovery of an awful secret Kimberly has been keeping to truly bring three eccentric women, seventeen dogs, and assorted lovers together.