Joan (Karen Allen) is a middle-aged woman who has been married for more than 30 years and has two grown sons. At the wedding banquet of her youngest, he says to his bride that he hopes they will have adventures both together and separately. This thought catches her attention. When she learns that her husband (Michael Crostofer) is being transferred from New York to the Midwest, she decides not to go with him. A writer, she decides she wants to be on her own for a while. He is shocked, hurt, and angered by what he sees as nothing more than selfishness on her part. But Joan feels just the opposite as she heads off to Cape Cod and a little cottage where she hopes to reap the ample benefits of silence and solitude.
The natural world greets her in the form of seals, swaying trees, and beautiful sunsets. Joan is somewhat shy but suddenly finds herself spending time with two very different female friends: the first is a wise and jubilant older woman (Celia Imrie), who is the wife of the famous psychoanalyst Erik Erikson; she affirms the bounties of being a free spirit and an independent person, and her joie de vivre proves to be catching. The second (Monique Gabriela Cumen) is a younger woman who allows Joan to rescue her from her boyfriend who regularly beats her; she shows Joan how important it is to have a sturdy sense of self-esteem. How much she is changing becomes apparent when her literary agent (S. Epatha Merkerson) comes to check up on her writing.
Joan takes a part-time job working at a fish market with a kind-hearted fisherman (Yannick Bisson) who becomes a close friend. Later he teaches how to make more money by digging for clams. Things get more complicated when her husband comes for a visit and reveals how much he has missed her
This melodramatic film is directed by Alexander Janko and based on the New York Times bestseller by Joan Anderson. The message of the movie is that it is never too late to claim you own life will resonate with the Baby Boom Generation and others who have gone on similar quests to let go, cope with change, and find some tender shoots of beauty in new relationships. It is interesting to see what unfolds for Joan as a result of her search for a new chapter in her life.