For the people of Bakerton, and the five children of the Novak family, the years after World War II alter their lives in unforeseen and irrevocable ways. Dorothy is a fragile beauty hooked on romance. Brilliant Joyce, the family's keystone, is bitterly aware of the life she might have had elsewhere. Sandy, the youngest boy, sails through life on looks and charm. George, the veteran, is driven to escape the life he was born to through selfishness and hard work. And Lucy, the volatile baby, is a confused girl with a voracious need for love.