This is the story of the Pentlands, a proud, old New England family that traces its ancestry back to the first settlers, but that is slowly dying out. The story takes place in the 1920s, but none of the glitz and glamour of that time period has reached Pentlands. The house and the family are hard, cold, and lifeless. Only Olivia and her daughter, Sybil, are truly alive. This is the story of their attempt to live despite the bonds that strangle them, and their struggle to escape, if possible.