Jane Kramer is in a midlife rut in the road—and that road is Rockville Pike, the suburban D.C. address of the not-so-fine furniture store she runs with her husband, Leon. Coping with an unruly teenager, misguided flirtations and "a hankering for sheet cakes" that have settled around Leon's middle, this desperate housewife feels adrift. Her refuge is the grave site of F. Scott Fitzgerald, who is buried off the Pike in a Rockville, Md., cemetery. There, she says, it's "possible to hear the drone of traffic as the churning of a sea." Coll's wacky-dreary vision has a fun-house-mirror effect: familiar, yet stretched beyond recognition. During one graveyard visit, Kramer quotes Fitzgerald's epitaph, which happens to be a line from The Great Gatsby. In that novel, a green light looms large. On Rockville Pike the lights blink mostly yellow and red. You're looking ahead for fun and insight, but instead you idle, feeling more weird than warm toward the characters stuck with you there.