Fay is a folklorist whose passion for mermaids provides her with a sense of continuity with the past. But is Fay in danger of using the past to escape the present? Of forsaking spontaneity for security? Tom, the host of a late-night radio show, is certainly spontaneous. If Fay is in danger of loving too little, Tom may have loved too well. Married and divorced three times before his fortieth birthday, he hopes desperately that next time around he will at last make the right choice. For both Fay and Tom, falling in love at first sight is at once an immense surprise and the cause of not a little trepidation.