Scriptwriter Amy Barber travels by car from Toronto to Winnipeg with her younger lover, Piotr, a Polish filmmaker. This is a journey shadowed by the future, and the past. The narrative moves from a small Manitoba town during one extraordinary hot summer at the close of the fifties when the death of Amy's sister changes everything, to the time when Amy marries, goes to live in the city, and begins to have reason to fear for her young son's well-being. Birdsell's haunting, almost tactile evocation of the dangerous territory of the past is infused with an uneasy nostalgia. Her unforgettable characters are portrayed as complex, fallible beings and, through them, she explores the private, sometimes cruel realm of relationships and the universal quest for an often elusive self-acceptance.