"So much of everything isn't the way I'd do it at all. I wouldn't do myself the way I've been done."

So begins the story of Zed Cupping, a discontented young husband who struggles against the mediocrity that his everyday existence has become.

During one summer in a beach town in Southern California in the mid-1970s, Zed struggles to understand his wife, not remain infatuated with an old flame, feel fatherly toward his daughter, seeking connection and friendship, trying to discover fresh affection with a high school student, or a unlikely ex-classmate gone bad.