At eighteen, Brian Clark is ready to leave Akron Ohio and attend college at Ohio State. But when his parents are killed in a car accident, Brian remains in Akron to raise his twelve-year-old brother Tommy. Instead of getting his degree in business, Brian spends years working two jobs to provide for Tommys upbringing. At twenty, Brian falls in love with Pamela Carlyle, a gentle but strong-hearted girl who makes his family whole again. But when she gets pregnant four years later, Brian refuses to put his life on hold again. He goes to school out of state, leaving Pam behind, but guilt drives him to drink and self-destruct. After he pulls himself together, he wonders if he can reclaim his family.