In 1950, after her father passes away, Ruthie Stein knows she will continue to take care of their family’s dairy farm, as she has always done, while also looking after her mother. But when her mother falls and breaks her hip less than two years later, Ruthie soon finds she cannot get by on her own.
Her neighbors, the Packers, recommend that their cousin Ruth, who is single and unemployed, come and assist Ruthie with her mother in exchange for room, board, and a small amount of money. The two women soon become close friends—and then discover that their relationship goes even deeper than friendship, into an unexpected romantic love. Although they must be very careful while together in public, the two women blend their lives together over the course of the next decade and manage to find true happiness in one another. But when Ruthie suffers a bad fall, they must reevaluate how they’ll proceed in their future.
In this novel, set in rural Upstate New York in the 1950s and 1960s, two women meet, fall in love, and build a life together, in spite of the secrecy that society of the time requires.