The novel draws on Chet's upbringing in Chattanooga, Tennessee and deals bluntly with the racism of that time. Set against the backdrop of World War II in 1944 Chattanooga, Mamie Buffon, her seven daughters, two son-in-laws, granddaughter, bed-ridden brother, and two black housekeepers find themselves packed together in a highly dysfunctional household fraught with marital, sexual and racial tension. With six different narrators, the reader is offered varying perspectives of the issues and events that send the novel hurtling towards its dramatic and comic conclusion.
French newspaper Nice-Matin described the French language version – "With this third novel, Chet Raymo confirms his uniqueness as an irresistibly talented storyteller. This has projected him since 1993, with the appearance of The Dork of Cork, as being amongst the current best representatives of American literature." (translated from French)