Marika Bonetti is preparing dinner when she gets a phone call from the police informing her that the EMS has taken her daughter, Jessica, to the emergency room of the local hospital. Dropping everything, Marika drives to the hospital, where she learns that Jessica is in a coma from a drug overdose. As she prays for signs of recovery she wonders what she did wrong as a mother that has made her daughter repeatedly get into trouble. After all that has happened she still loves her daughter unconditionally, and she has a residue of hope for her, but her faith is challenged.
Jim Wyatt, a prominent state senator from Minnesota, is kidnapped on a visit to New York City by an Islamic human rights group who mistakenly believe he is a CIA agent. They are followers of a Muslim cleric who was convicted and imprisoned for inciting violence, and they give Jim a deadline to persuade the government to release the cleric, or else they will kill him. Convinced that the cleric is innocent, Jim tries to get him released, and while in confinement he examines his life and develops a relationship with the leader of his captors, a young woman named Zoraya.
As she is leaving for work one morning Catalina Rinaldi confronts a young man standing on the sidewalk in front of her building who addresses her with the alias she used in a crime against the military government in Argentina, many years ago. She is startled by the encounter, especially since the guy speaks English with the accent of someone from Argentina. So what does this guy want from her? Does he want to arrest her and take her back to Argentina where she will be justly punished for her crime? Does he want revenge?
Milos and Amira are refugees from the war in Bosnia. Milos is a Serb, a Christian, and Amira is a Bosniak, a Muslim. They are living in Yonkers with their families, and they have just begun their freshman year at St. Catherine College when terrorists destroy the World Trade Center. They meet in a religion class, and they fall in love. When acts of violence between their cousins, who are consumed with ethnic hatred, escalate into a war between their families they try to make peace, believing that their love will prevail, but soon the war gets out of control.
After her sophomore year of college Brigid McBride spends the summer with her best friend Laura Hughes, living in New York City and demonstrating against the war in Vietnam. It's the summer of 1968, and they are sharing an apartment in the East Village with a Jesuit seminarian who is their mentor. Brigid is in love with him, and Laura is in love with a conscientious objector who fled to Canada to escape the draft. After they argue over tactics Laura departs to join her boyfriend while Brigid remains at the apartment in the hope of getting the seminarian to love her as she loves him.
Danny O'Dwyer, who works as a lineman for the electric company, has an accident that makes him physically unable to continue working as a lineman. In losing this job, which he loves and has done for twenty-six years, he loses his identity and begins a downward trajectory that threatens to ruin his family despite the efforts of his wife Paola to help him and to save their marriage.
Elsa Romero, a college professor, is attending a demonstration in New York City to protest the government's immigration policies. Karl Reinholdt, a white nationalist, is standing across the street from her, displaying a sign that says MAKE AMERICA WHITE AGAIN. In response she displays a sign that says LOVE WILL PREVAIL. When a girl is suddenly killed by a gun shot, Elsa and Karl are brought together by this tragedy.
Gina Moretti begins to worry when her goddaughter, Marisol, doesn’t come home from work at the usual time and doesn’t respond to text messages. With help from the local police, Gina and her husband determine that Marisol, who was adopted by her brother and his wife but was abandoned by them four years ago, has been lured by someone she met on the internet who claims to know where her birth mother is, and her trail leads to the city with the highest murder rate in the world.