Geoffrey Tremont is untroubled by his contented bachelor life in New York City, filled with sophisticated friends, an undemanding lover devoted to her own career, and his wise brother, a psychiatrist who is the only person who understands him. On an ordinary day, Geoffrey arrives home to find a registered letter advising him that an old friend has named him the executor of her estate. Twenty years ago, in college, Geoffrey and Laura Welles had been best friends, but later went their separate ways. Now, she's reached out from the past to ask him to settle her estate. Geoffrey travels up to Laura's hometown where he meets Marian Ballantine, a widow living in the shadow of an idyllic marriage, and now grieving the loss of her best friend. From the moment he first sees her, Geoffrey realizes that this attractive, plainspoken woman has the power to upend his compartmentalized life. Faced with the decision to embrace the unknown or retreat to the safety of the familiar, both will have to decide whether it's safe to tumble into the abyss of love.