Milos and Amira are refugees from the war in Bosnia. Milos is a Serb, a Christian, and his family suffered losses from acts of violence committed against them by Bosniaks. Amira is a Bosniak, a Muslim, and her family suffered losses from acts of violence committed against them by Serbs. Five years later they are living in Yonkers and going to college, where they meet and fall in love. But their cousins, consumed with ethnic hatred, ignite a war between their families. They try to make peace, 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.