Sometimes being left in the lurch is the best thing that can happen to you.Alison Hopkins's live-in boyfriend, Tom, goes out in the middle of a dinner party to buy a jar of mustard, then calls her from a pay phone to tell her he won't be coming home. He's left her for his beautiful ex-girlfriend Kate Pearce, the kind of woman about whom men say rhapsodically, 'She's like a drug.'Alison had always feared that Tom's looks would land her in trouble-having a handsome boyfriend is like having a white couch, an invitation to disaster. But if Tom isn't her Big Love, who is? Alison embraces her freedom, buys 'hiking boots and lacy underwear,' and sets out on a stroll down the midway of love. From an eye-opening fling with her new boss to an unexpected proposal from an old friend, Alison samples love's many varieties-all the while talking obsessively with her girlfriends, comparing stories, and working through a lifetime of conflicting beliefs about trust, faith, and commitment.In spite of (or perhaps because of) her neuroses, Alison finds a surprising kind of triumph-and an irrational faith that the Big Love may be nearer than it appears.