"Set over the last half of the twentieth century, Onward Toward What We're Going Toward is the epic story of the decline and fall of an American family. Postwar newlyweds Chic and Diane Waldbeeser are determined to carve out a life for themselves and their son, Lomax, in Middleville, Illinois, but when ten-year old Lomax dies, Chic and Diane take refuge in religion, haiku poetry, doll collecting, food, and bowling as they try to make sense of their overwhelming grief and guilt. Paralleling their story is that of Chic's older brother Buddy. Haunted by the suicide of his father, Buddy struggles to make a life with his exotic, naive wife, Lijy-who is hiding a devastating secret of her own-while attempting to introduce the residents of Middleville to vegetarianism and Ayurveda massage, an unusual endeavor in midcentury Middle America. Coming headlong out of Las Vegas in the 1990s and bound for Peoria, Illinois, are Green Geneseo, a retired, widowed bank teller, and Mary Norwood, an aging pool hustler, looking for one last swing at the American Dream. The couple sideswipes the life of the now aged and widowed Chic, offering him one last chance to right a life that has been filled with sadness and tragedy."-- Provided by publisher.