At the height of World War II, Merline fled Santa Rita. Ten years later, when her sister is killed by a car, Merline returns to close the estate, hoping to avoid inevitable questions. Memories make painful companions as she clears the tag ends of their life in Santa Rita. Most of all, she remembers her beloved Paul, lost when his bomber crashed.
Paul Winfield, rescued by the Resistance in France, has searched for his lost love, never found her or anyone to equal her, and is now Santa Rita's high school principal. Knowing Merline will probably return for her sister's funeral, he comes knocking on the door of her childhood home, but she sends him away. Paul survived the tragedies of war; he won't let anything stand between him and Merline again, but they are different people than they were ten years before. Will a shameful secret and their own history keep them apart?