Bette Gartner, a ninety-five-year-old widow, wakes up one morning and decides to throw a dinner party that night for her small family, staff, two neighbors, and a medium—and no one knows why.
The story takes place over the day and is told through the multiple points of view of Bette’s guests, switching back and forth between them as we learn about their motivations, dreams, hopes, and fears. These various storylines converge at the dinner table, where the coming together of different personalities, each with their own tensions and pain points, erupts into epiphanies, resolutions, and new beginnings before the final act of the evening Bette has planned.
Alpha Bette is more than the story of a particular family’s history. Aside from recounting how the characters navigate the daily mundanities of urban life, it also dwells on their larger existential anxieties and the impact of the holes and absences that deceased and displaced loved ones leave behind.