The sudden death of Rose’s husband Abe after forty years of marriage rocks her world to its foundations. Her feelings of abandonment and loss, followed by a flood of anger, erupt into insomnia and confusion. Rose believes her life was defined by Abe and she blames him for the overbearing behaviour that caused a rift between her and their two daughters.
They in turn – one living in London with her gay partner, the other unmarried and working in Micronesia – blame Rose for not standing up to their father. Rose and Abe would have loved grandchildren, and as Rose grieves for the life she believes she has lost, she fails to see that she can still live a life of her own. Her personal crisis reaches critical levels when she becomes addicted to sleeping pills, and her doctor suggests she occupy herself with voluntary work in the maternity ward of the local hospital. Here she befriends a single mother who, desperate and depressed, faces losing her baby to adoption.
Poor, befuddled Rose believes she has the answer to the future happiness of both baby and mother and, with one drastic action, dramatically alters the course of her own life.