It is early autumn, 1997 and Kate Thuringer is back in her hometown to help her college-age daughter settle into her new life. A professional photographer, Kate has not visited Montreal for almost a decade; has avoided one street for 27 years. During that time, she has lived with her cardiologist husband and two children in western Canada. Before her marriage, however, Kate survived a turbulent year in which Quebecois separatists kidnapped a British diplomat and murdered a politician. Kate is obsessed with the past, particularly with the memory of a poor francophone music student with whom she had been involved. Now plunged into a mid-life crisis, she struggles to reconcile her youthful dreams with her stale marriage, her empty nest, her quickly approaching fiftieth birthday.