Belinda (Rosanna Arquette), who does not speak or listen, is shunned by everyone in her community, including her own family. Bill (Richard Thomas), a social worker on a year-long visit, becomes fascinated with Belinda and makes a startling discovery: She's deaf and mute. He begins teaching her sign language, and the two quickly develop a close friendship. When Belinda is attacked one night by a local drunk (Dennis Quaid), Bill's feelings for her become something he can't ignore.
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