In her small upstate New York town, Molly Howe is admired for her beauty, poise, and character, until one day a secret is exposed and she is cruelly ostracized. She escapes to Berkeley, where she finds solace in a young art student named John Wheelwright. They embark on an intense, all-consuming affair, until the day Molly disappears - again.
Ben and Helen Armstead have reached breaking point and it takes one afternoon - and a single act of recklessness - for Ben to deal the final blow to their marriage, spectacularly demolishing everything they built together. Helen and her teenage daughter Sara leave for Manhattan where Helen takes a job in PR.