We rejoin the characters from The Book Club Chronicles as they are struggling with their lives and their loves. They are still studying The Tale of Genji, with the same graduate student from that previous time. Bill plots to return Annie to his life because of his need for revenge or for a reconciliation? Annie resumes writing after the death of Hans, and discovers the problems of publishing. Claire flails around to find an outlet for her intellectual energies. Katherine is having fun with her various men, while still mourning the loss of her great love. Franny, who has turned sour and angry, has become an annoying mystery. What is a happy ending for these ladies, if there is such a thing as a happy ending? While struggling they meditate on the nature of men and women and of marriages as they continue reading the great masterpiece from 12th century Heian Japan. Written in Japanese by Murasaki Shikibu, a court lady, instead of the highly regarded Chinese that the men wrote in, it is described as the worlds first novel.