Eden Rock Country Club is a grand New England institution, a lush haven of leisure and cocktails, where gossip and intrigue lurk discreetly behind a veil of old-world propriety. But one Fourth of July, a flock of geese descends on the club's manicured lawns; never fond of outsiders, the Eden Rock denizens find these new guests distinctly unwelcome. When Charles Lambert, a bond trader with a strong portfolio but a weak golf game, accidentally kills a goose with a wayward drive, he sets in motion a series of events that will leave the club and its members changed forever.
His wife, Madeline, must face the mutterings of other members about the state of her marriage—and his sanity. Meanwhile, their daughter, an animal rights activist, mounts a quixotic campaign to make the club go vegan, much to the annoyance of Vita, a talented, obsessive chef who has her own plans for the geese.