Family Matters examines the disjunct between upward-mobile successful technocrats, living in enviable suburban comfort, and their nearby blue-collar counterparts, many haunted by a sense of personal insignificance as lifelong jobs are eliminated or disappear altogether. From computer-savvy Barry Byrnes, forced into early retirement, to union leaders Jamie McClintock and Paul Doran, struggling to save a century-old industry in the heart of the picturesque Chesapeake Bay area, we collide against mutually opposed economic and family concerns. The effect is a profound cultural fracture, the central concern of the novel.