The narrator, a young woman whose name we never know, is in a dissolving marriage. Her husband needs to leave, for unknown reasons. Perhaps he just needs his own space. She is not terribly fussed about the situation. But he feels it incumbent upon himself to find her a new apartment. Nothing in her price range fits though, and so she finally goes her own way, three year old daughter in tow, and finds her own place without mentioning it to him.
This is her territory of light, the entire fourth floor of a commercial building. Windows all round, and since it is the top floor, private access to the rooftop as well. The floor below is only partially used, so she has a little extra territory when needed. Light at all hours of the day, and the red floor in the kitchen area nearly shimmers. This light-filled kingdom is the refuge she and her daughter have been searching for.
And then what happens? Well, life goes on. Her daughter has occasional issues (but seriously she is three. Have you ever met a three year old child?) She occasionally drinks too much (and barfs in the street – girl, college, well, it happens. As an adult, not so much?) Husband takes his own sweet time, but eventually gets around to signing the divorce papers. And the rest of her love life is not entirely satisfactory. Leave that school boy alone.
Quite honestly, most of the book is what it is, but that opening chapter was gold.