The central figure in HOME BY SEVEN is Charlie Stoddard, husband, father, commuter, and managing editor of Business Publications, Inc., whose life starts coming apart when he is inadvertently responsible for the death of a fellow editor. The novel begins with a black humor which gradually fades as Charlie is caught up in the swirl of events caused by his drinking.
The novel takes place over a five day period in November 1963, a few weeks before the assassination of President Kennedy. The scenes are laid in New York City, the suburbs, on the commuting trains, and in Bermuda, where Charlie finally flees to try to put his life together. His efforts to salvage his marriage, his job, and himself, however, seem preordained to failure because of his passion for women and booze.
In stark prose that drives relentlessly forward, the novel, like Charles Jackson's LOST WEEKEND, is a graphic, blow by blow description of Charlie's involvement with alcohol and women over a long, crisis-filled weekend. The last chapter, seventeen years later, picks up Charlie again on a "lost month" when he finally hits his bottom and is ready for the help that is long overdue.