At the start of the novel, Cassandra is planning to return to her family's ranch in preparation for her identical twin Judith's wedding. They've been apart for nine months - their longest separation - since Judith went to study music in New York and Cassie stayed at Berkeley working on her thesis. And here's how she feels about it, looking out of her apartment window at the Golden Gate Bridge:
The bridge looked good again. The sun was on it, and it took on something of the appeal of a bright exit sign in an auditorium that is crowded and airless and where you are listening to a lecture, as I so often do, that is in no way brilliant. But lectures can't all be brilliant, of course; they can be sat through and listened to for what there is in them, and if the exit sign is dazzling is can still be ignored. Besides, my guide assures me that I am not, at heart, a jumper; it's not my sort of thing. I'm given to conjecture only, and to restlessness, and I think I knew all the time I was sizing up the bridge that the strong possibility was I'd go home, attend my sister's wedding as invited, help hook-and-zip her into whatever she wore, take over the bouquet while she received the ring, through the nose or on the finger, wherever she chose to recieve it, and hold my peace when it became a question of speaking now or forever holding it. I'd go, in all likelihood, and do everything an only attendant is expected to do. I'd probably dance attendance.It's a long quote but it illustrates all of Cassie's youthful tentativeness, tough vulnerability, and imaginative wit. She has conflicting emotions about her sister, her dead mother who was the successful writer she wants to be herself, and her somewhat eccentric and distant father. There's also her sweet grandmother who means well, but has always misjudged the twins - or so Cassie has always thought. The novel charts the few days leading up to the wedding and Cassie's drunken and dramatic attempts to stop it. Her narration is interrupted by a short chapter from Judith's perspective, but this novel belongs entirely to Cassie, and though she finally accepts Judith's decision, there's a devastating moment of confession, in which she realizes exactly what the future will hold for her married sister and it gives her the courage to make that final break.
This is a novel to get gloriously drunk on; I adored every word of it.