Julia Hamilton and her family are forced to move from New York City to the small town of Fish Creek in Door County, Wisconsin after losing everything in the stock market crash of October 1929. More than culture shock, Julia is caught between her mother-in-law, Mavis Hamilton, and her aunt Emily Collins, sisters who have been estranged for nearly 30 years.
Everyone expects this arrangement to be necessary for a short time, less than six months. But as time passes, Julia begins to wish they would stay in Fish Creek. She has made friends and discovered a lifestyle she prefers. But Mavis is goading Julia’s husband Kevin to earn enough money so they can return to New York. And Kevin is weak enough to be tempted into doing things he would never have considered in his former life.
Meanwhile, Julia’s new close friend Maggie O’Brien has a lover, Jesse Hughes, who develops a more-than-casual interest in Julia. Set in a small town community where gossip, appearances and morals fall under close scrutiny, Julia is forced to make hard choices that will forever change her expectations of what life has to offer her.