Eight families settled in New York in the 1870s. Over a period of one hundred years, they interacted with one another in various places, time periods and manners. Some of the interaction was positive, but there were also just as many negative impacts. Each family had power and prestige but in very different ways. Their relationships over the years culminate when Jacob is born in 1977 which either sets the stage for all of their dreams to come true or for all their hopes to dissipate.