Larry Cook (Jason Robards), a successful and respected farmer, decides to retire and turn over his property to his three daughters. Ginny (Jessica Lange) and Rose (Michelle Pfeiffer) still live on the farm while their husbands work the land. Their younger sister Caroline (Jennifer Jason Leigh), whom they raised after the death of their mother, is a lawyer in the city. When she questions her father's decision, he cuts her out of the inheritance. Ginny and Rose, who have always been close, suddenly find themselves at odds — not only with their tyrannical and increasingly mad father but over their mutual attraction to Jess (Colin Firth), the prodigal son of a neighbor who has returned home to try organic farming.

Jocelyn Moorhouse (How To Make An American Quilt) directs this powerful screen adaptation of Jane Smiley's 1991 Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller. Ignored by their husbands, Ginny and Rose confront the dark secret of incest in their past. Michelle Pfeiffer gives a convincing performance as a cancer-ridden mother of two who uses her rage against her father as a fuel to keep herself alive. Jessica Lange's more passive Ginny, a survivor of five miscarriages, is transformed by the ordeals she undergoes as her life is torn apart and restructured. This intimate and riveting portrait of sibling hate, forgiveness, and love hits the mark.