When a car accident leaves forty-year-old Burke Crenshaw in need of temporary full-time care, he finds himself back in the Vermont home where he grew up as be begins the long recuperation. A burgeoning relationship with the twenty-year-old son of Burke's high school best friend draws him out of himself and into the community he left behind. Exploring local history, he discovers an intriguing series of letters from a Civil War soldier to his fiance. With the help of librarian Sam Guffrey, he begins to research a 125-year-old mystery that seems to be reaching into the present day. The more Burke delves into the past, the more he's forced to confront the person he has become: the choices he made and those he avoided, his ideas of what it takes to be a successful gay man, his feelings about his mother's death, and the suppressed tension that simmers between himself and his father.