74 Lakeview Avenue is written from the perspective of a superintendent named Earnest as he retells the stories of his residents and the struggles they hide behind closed doors (which he acquires in less than honest ways). Through a series of short stories, the reader learns about the many characters, their lives, and how they each overcome their struggles.
While newer and taller buildings, growing between 24 Lakeview Avenue and the lake itself, forever changed their exterior landscape, the growing social unrest of the sixties forever changed the inhabitant’s internal landscapes.
It is the late seventies. Now the lake can only be seen from the bathroom in number ten. And behind every closed door in the apartment building people are struggling to establish and maintain relationships within the context of a new and still evolving society. The old roles are evaporating too quickly. The new ones are solidifying too slowly. Free-floating angst is seeping into the corridors from under each closed door. The people who live in the building have no idea that someone knows the intimate details of their struggles, and is writing a book about them.
The writer explains that that the dark oak doors must be opened if secrets are to be revealed, and not only introduces the reader to some of the tenants, and their visitors, but also to the unconventional methods used to discovering their secrets.