Juliet yearns for the ‘ebb and flow of life lived avidly’, for the pace and challenge of city living. The conflict between her love of husband and children and her own passionate need for expression is intensified by her move from small town Canada to Southern India. The stifling restrictions on Juliet's freedom are magnified in the plight of her young widowed neighbour. The beautiful Yashoda longs to embrace the Western values that would release her from the strictures of Indian tradition. But the ancient mores are powerful and enduring, and challenging them inevitably leads to tragedy.