She's the goddess of hearth and home, America's millionaire media maven of domesticity, Connecticut's most dazzling hostess, and everything in her world is perfect-except that Maggie Darling's picture-book life has suddenly gone off the rails. Amid the extravagant trappings of a Christmas Eve bash, she spies her swinish stockbroker husband slipping out of a powder room moments after his creamy young colleague. Matrimonial meltdown launches Maggie on a year of romance and misadventure, starting with an ill-fated fling with British rock star-turned-movie-actor Frederick Swann. Back home, a sniper is loose on the Merritt Parkway and a gang known as the Businessman's Lunch Posse is terrorizing patrons of Manhattan's four-star restaurants. Meanwhile, Maggie's son Hooper drops out of college and falls into the company of the sinister gangsta-rap group Chill Az Def. As calamity piles on catastrophe, can Maggie Darling brilliantly resolve the collapse of civilization as we wish we knew it?