The Marshes and the DiDonatos live in a Cambridge, Massachusetts two-family house and struggle with the usual problems of a modern life.
Tony DiDonato can’t find a job as a professor of medieval literature so he refurbishes salvaged trash to sell at flea markets and acts as house husband.
Laurel DiDonato, a safety engineer, discovers her company is breaking the law with dangerous chemicals. The breadwinner of her family, she has to decide whether to risk her job or let the matter ride and endanger others. More than anything she wants to find her birth mother.
Jay Marsh is a lawyer who does a lot of pro bono work. He is passionate about helping others, something he learned from his adopted artist mother, but he also needs to make peace with his adopted father, a successful Harvard law professor who is dying. His perceptions of his father’s desertion need to be brought in line with reality.
Carol Marsh is a probation officer working with kids. She loves her work but is still struggling to come to terms with her late mother’s alcoholism. Living in her childhood home doesn’t help, and the matter is made worse when Jay decides he wants to clean out the basement, where Carol discovers secrets that will bring major changes to the family. She also does not realize that one of her juveniles is part of a racist militia that will threaten her family.
As these four adults struggle with their problems, they also learn the value of family and friends.