Since his childhood, Leo’s world has been dominated by one beautiful woman’s obsession with him. Raised in a small Texas town, educated at a large university, and devastated after his first “normal” relationship fails, the young scholar is no match for his aunt’s desire to use him for her own gratification.
With little hope for normalcy, Leo resigns himself to a life of pretense and lies. His charade increasingly leads him to professional failures, withdrawal from normal relationships, and spiraling emotional dependence on his aunt, with whom he lives in exile from the rest of his family. Together they act out a quiet tragedy in small rental apartments, doing temp jobs in a succession of obscure towns. Then, already in his late thirties, he meets Janet, a grade school teacher in the tiny North Carolina town of Cannon Shoals, and what had seemed impossible happens.
He falls in love.