This novel is the story of seven friends who have known each other since their college days. During one of their reunions they decide that after their careers end, they will enter a retirement community in Myrtle Creek, Oregon. Benjamin Pollack, a retired anthropolist, selects an apartment on the second floor. When the lease is signed, he tells the general manager of Oakbrook Manor that he'd like to be seated at a table for eight, since he has six friends who will join him when their careers end as well. The next friend to join the group is Conrad Ballister, a retired investment banker. He witnessed a car accident, seeing a truck driver run into the back of a passenger car, leave the scene with a sneer after refusing to give out his drivers license to the owner of the car. He decided to study law once he got out of school, to bring justice to people like the hapless driver of that passenger car. A few months later, he is joined by Martin Fraser, a retired Herald Tribune correspondent. When he is brought to the table by the dining room manager, he is welcomed with open arms by Conrad and Ben. After dinner, Ben invites Martin and Conrad to his apartment for a cognac, as they get reacquainted. They decide to get together once a week to hear each other's lifestory. Sam Whittier is the friend who studied law, and decided to enter the political arena to be elected judge in the San Francisco court system. Alan Carstairs, a former classmate of Sam Whittier in law school, elected to become a lawyer who did pro-bono work on the side in order to help those who could not afford the hefty lawyer fees. Peter Evans, was a famous portrait painter until he developed weak muscles in his hands and could no longer claim perfection to a job well done. Roberto Giovanni grew up in a dysfunctional family, and as the oldest of five children, ended up responsible for his siblings after his father had left, and his mother died shortly thereafter.