Can you marry young and remain faithful all your life? Will marriage fulfill your deepest desires? Is a secret the same as a lie? To whom should you be most loyal, your best friend or your spouse? These are some of the questions troubling Irene West, the wife of goodhearted Max West, the editor of a small town Massachussetts newspaper. The Wests' best friends are the glamorous Cunninghams; their four children are friends, too. For ten years the two families vacation every August in Irene's summer house on Nantucket. In August one of the children is diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a genetically-based disease that will force Irene to expose all the secrets she's been hiding.