Like many young women, Grace Barnum's life is a precarious mix of sensible choices and uncomfortable compromise. She dutifully edits children's textbooks that she fears may be more harmful than helpful. She is engaged to a patent attorney with whom she has a reliable relationship. She's wary of her fascinating father, a renowned New York painter, and she prefers her mother slightly drunk. Always organised, always a planner, Grace carries her life around in a handbag - that is, until the responsibility-challenged Tyler Wilkie shows up, with his warm eyes and a smile that makes Grace drop things. Worst of all, he writes tender, loving, devastating songs - about her. Tyler reaches something in Grace, something she needs, but can't admit to. Something she wants, but won't succumb to. Falling in love with him would ruin everything. And yet...