This novel follows the lives of 5 Harvard graduates, beginning with their enrollment until their 25th graduation anniversary:
* Ted, a classicist, Greek, an outsider because he doesn't live on campus - always struggling to make his mark
* Jason, a sports star, jewish only on the paper - until the loss of the love of his life leads him to Israel
* Danny, a piano prodigy, always looking for public applause and sometimes overreaching
* Andy whose family funded one of the houses within campus. He never extinguishes himself professionally but in the end has an impact on all of them
* George, a Hungarian refugee, obsessed with politics and making his life worth the sacrifices he made.
This is an interesting novel but again for the most part it failed to actually engage me on a more emotional level. All of the protagonists are driven by professional ambition (nurtured by their families and the alma mater), disregarding their private lives, maybe except for Jason who actually follows his heart's desire and leaves the US and Harvard behind. But the others have to learn their lessons after affairs and putting public adulation before love and dedication - and some never learn.
Still in the final analysis, again, this novel left open much of the interior workings. Romances don't get infused with emotions, they're told pretty much straight-forward, like reciting facts... and given some characters' attitudes it's pretty difficult to see how anyone could fall for them and/or agree to marry them. So, it's the heart of the story essentially that's missing (for the most part). And adding that heart would have lifted this novel from average to good in no time. But it was not to be.