Martha is single, in her early 30s, and has lived in Baltimore all her life. But she is late to do what her friends and family expect her to do - marry and have children - and is instead involved with Edward, a man chosen precisely because she believes that he expects none of these things from her. When she begins to suspect otherwise, she leaves her familiar Italian neighborhood for a new job in the small-town South. Martha yearns to be free of the sense of having disappointed her family - and just about everyone. She tries to distract herself by befriending a new neighbor, having an affair with a local high school teacher. But the ache for resolution proves too strong. So she returns. The ride home is long and panicked and she gropes toward an understanding of how damage can be done without a word spoken. She is desperate for peace, for some small way to make things as right as she can. As Martha discovers a growing intimacy between Edward and her sister, she's forced to take responsibility for her isolation and to realize that even those things beyond repair can be redemptive in their own way.