Tom Rode’s mother, Connie, lies dying in a hospital. As he tries to keep her spirits up, Tom, an editor and Bach specialist at a classical music website, sees his own life speeding off in the wrong direction. Evan Stone—a skilled schmoozer young enough to be Tom’s son—has moved into Tom’s old position as director of the editorial team, while Tom has been forced to make a “lateral move” that feels suspiciously like a demotion. His wife offers moral support at home, and at work he finds growing comfort in the company of his young protégée Kim—until their friendship leads to jealousy and a visit to human resources. As Tom’s troubles mount, he must decide whether to continue working at a job he has held for years but now finds intolerable or to strike out on a new path during a time of economic uncertainty.