Taking place after alien crafts land around the world, an expert linguist is recruited by the military to determine whether they come in peace or are a threat.
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Aspiring New York City artist John Hollar returns to his Middle America hometown on the eve of his mother’s brain surgery. Joined by his girlfriend, eight months pregnant with their first child, John is forced to navigate the crazy world he left behind.
Elaine and Ed Kendall have more than their share of grief and suffering. Once a young couple in love they now struggle for a sense of stability in their Staten Island home. Their eldest son is suffering from the physical and psychological effects of war; his younger brother takes it upon himself to bring him peace and relief. Meanwhile, their special needs daughter brings another kind of chaos to the family. Even though Ed and Elaine explore options for her care, they’re really just hanging on to hope that things improve somehow.
Guy is an experienced British fighter pilot who is in command of Britain’s first manned mission to space. He has trained for this for three years at the height of the Cold War and now he is alone in space with a malfunctioning capsule. He has limited contact with the UK, some unusual communication with the US and some unorthodox communication with Roscosmos deep in Soviet Russia. Who will help him? Will he make the right choice?