As Ann lays bedridden, living out the last couple of days of her life, she begins to hallucinate and relive the weekend that changed her life forever - the weekend when she was invited to be the maid of honour to best friend Lila Wittenborn, and met Harris Arden - the love of her life. Ann had gone to college together with Lila and her baby brother Buddy, who had since then developing a crush on Ann without her knowing. The headstrong, free-spirited night club singer from New York did not mix well with the New Port society; equally ill at ease are Buddy and Harris. Buddy is an idealist young man who drown his frustration with himself and his family stature into bottles of champagne; while Harris has to deal with the constant reminder that he should know "his place" when socialising with the masters, even though he is now a respected doctor. While Ann and Harris left the party to spend a night together, Buddy was killed in a car accident when chasing after them. Overwhelmed with guilt, and knowing that Lila is still in love with Harris, the lovers parted ways even though they remained in love with each other. Running parallel to the flashback, another plot line shows Ann's two daughters struggling with old feuds and the pressure of looking after the dying woman. Connie grew up witnessing her mothers two failed marriages and singing career, and became the typical suburban working soccer mom.
Younger sister Nina turned the other way and became a drifter, never settling down to one man, couldn't hold a job; and is now unsure of how to go on with her life because she is pregnant..