Joan Baxter marries the mysterious and handsome soldier who shows up in her small town during World War II. George Turner presents himself as a perfectly charming gentleman, Joan could have had no way of knowing, then just a girl in her teens, the drastic and abusive change that would take over her husband after the war.
George and Joan have a daughter named Annabel. By the time she is a teenager, Annabel comes to know her father best as an ornery alcoholic. She lives to simply stay out of his way, but what gets her through the worse days is knowing that she has plans of her own.
Unlike her friends, Annabel has little interest in marriage or having children. She desires an education and a career, but her controlling father stands in her way. He believes a woman’s place is in the home.
Annabel sneaks out of her bedroom window at night and walks the streets of her quiet suburban town, while dreaming of a different life. She peers through people’s windows, eager for a glimpse of what normal family-life looks like.
On one of her nightly walks she sees Danny Winfield through his window and is immediately captivated by the boy. His soothing smile and gentle demeanor give her a feeling of safety and security her own home fails to provide.