DOVETAILS are places where pieces of cut wood come together to make a joint, give strength, support each other. Alone the pieces don’t function; together, they make something complete. So, these four novellas are about lives that are imperfect, lacking, limited, which become stronger at the points of intersection.
A FRIEND OF THE RACE: Ethan is a white, suburban wonderkid interested in all things black - African American. After his parents divorce, he moves to Cambridge where, finally, he has contact with black culture. Through some black students, he meets Calvin, teenage denizen of the inner city. Unknown to Ethan, his Cambridge friends are using him only for money and sport, but Ethan and Calvin develop an unexpected friendship, which is put to a dangerous and deadly test.
VIRGIN SACRIFICES Trudy is a high school senior, whose mother and older sister are bitter about men. Trudy wants nothing more than to get rid of her virginity with someone who cannot disappoint her. Burton returned from Vietnam seven years ago, works on the family farm, and cannot get past his isolation. Trudy sees Burton at the hardware store where she works: “that Hallowell boy, the one hurt in the war.” Then one day, Trudy shows up at the farm, looking for Burton. Nothing in Burton's life has prepared him for Trudy; and she learns that love can have many definitions.
NO DAUGHTER OF MINE A middle-aged waitress with distant, grown sons and a failing mother-in-law discovers one of the younger waitresses is pregnant, and looking to get rid of the child. One of the boys' empty bedrooms could once again become a nursery, or will it be the place her husband's mother spends her last days?
CRIPPLED Sheryl was living her dream, moving from the Midwest to California with her soul mate, Chad, and opening a coffee house. Then she catches Chad with a waitress, and discovers his cocaine habit, wasting their hard-earned profits. Along comes Bobby Christie, visiting a mutual friend, crippled from a motorcycle accident and rich from the settlement. He, too, takes cocaine, but only when the pain medicine doesn't work. Bobby is impressed with Sheryl, willing to bankroll a new business, but what in turn does he want from her?