As America emerges from the Depression, the Hatherfords build a comfortable life just outside of New York City, in rural Bergen County, New Jersey. They are a glamorous couple: Vern is the charismatic owner of a successful Ford dealership, and his flamboyant wife Maeve is beautiful even in middle age. When their three-year-old son Scott falls prey to polio, and later, another son must go to war, their marriage slowly implodes. In the midst of it all, twelve-year-old Patsy steals swallows of whiskey and tries to make sense of the world around her, which includes an unusual intimacy between her brother Scott, and Julian, a young African American boy who lives among them.
Neither historical nor medical fiction, The Cure offers the pleasures of both in its richly complex portrayal of the lives and times of its characters. A beautifully written family saga about race, war, childhood illness, and romantic desire, The Cure has at its heart wounding and the struggle for hope.