Susan Traherne (Meryl Streep) is trying to put find her purpose in the wake of World War II. After a brief but intense affair with a soldier, she stumbles into a job in politics. Her career brings her into contact with Raymond Brock (Charles Dance), who she ultimately marries. But after the two struggle to start a family, the union begins to crack. Struggling to find happiness, Susan is forced to confront the notion that she may have been happiest during the war.