Ruth Lambert left Snow Island when she was a teenager, but returns in the Fall of 1990 after her aunt’s death, when she and her sister inherit the old Snow Inn. Nick McGarrell, a Vietnam veteran, has quit his job on the mainland as an engineer and retreated to his island birthplace to work as a carpenter. Nora Venable, an aging lesbian and owner of the island’s abandoned mansion, moves into the caretaker’s cottage on a whim. From the confines of their small New England community, the trio watch as the United States prepares to go to war once again, this time in the Persian Gulf. When the mansion burns down one night in a mysterious fire, the lives of Nora, Nick, and Ruth unexpectedly intersect, tearing them from their private—but determined–battles with the past, and propelling them into the unknown future of loss, love, and redemption.