Sex, drugs, and rock & roll have reached the smallest towns on the plains. Two brothers growing up on a ranch in the Dakotas are caught in the midst of it. The older brother and golden boy of the family, Jake, returns from Vietnam damaged by his experience and the family struggles to cope with the aftermath. Jake lives a wild and destructive life and younger brother, Peter, is both repelled and attracted by it. When Peter betrays Jake and destroys his relationship with the one woman who may be able to save him, Jake embarks on a drug-crazed bank robbery and lands in prison. Peter is launched on his own quixotic journey and has a series of luckless relationships with women before becoming a monk at St. John's Abbey. The novel traces the intersecting lives of both brothers carrying the guilt of the past and ultimately finding peace and redemption. The story spans five generations as the past is linked to the future and takes us from Germany and Russia to the Dakota prairies and Minnesota

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