Therese was 19 - loved by a young man she cared about, but could not desire. Carol was a sophisticated married woman, buying gifts for her daughter, when the two met in a department store. Now Therese seemed to have no other purpose than their meeting.
The book tells the story of Therese Belivet, a stage designer trapped in a department-store day job, whose salvation arrives one day in the form of Carol Aird, an alluring suburban housewife in the throes of a divorce. They fall in love and set out across the United States.
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