Robert Jewett, independent and free-thinking, has divorced her philandering husband and arrives in Camden, Maine with her three daughters, full of hope for a fresh start in the town where she was born. But it is 1916, and a woman divorced is a woman shunned - especially if she has a full-time job and drives a Model T Ford.
Condemned by her mother, harassed by her lecherous brother-in-law and scorned by the townsfolk, Roberta defies them all and perseveres in creating a happy home for her daughters. Only one man, widower Gabriel Farley, treats her with respect and, as their friendship deepens, the chemistry between them becomes hard to ignore. But they are both held back by unhappy memories and only a brutal act of violence forces them to acknowledge the love that has grown between them; a love which, in the face of the cruel hypocrisy and prejudice of their neighbours, will be put to the ultimate test . . .