In the small college town of Hayden, Illinois, Morgan and Zhenya have settled into a loveless, stagnant marriage. The suicide of their son, Philip, ten years before has left the pair emotionally dead, lacking even the courage to separate from each other. Their surviving child, Emma, has become a teenage mother and refuses to reveal the identity of her child's father. Into this sullen mix marches Peter Ivanovich Kamenev, Zhenya's exasperating father. His arrival, though it tears at the family, also rejuvenates it.