Carrie Watts is forced by circumstances to live with her daughter-in-law who hates her and a loathsome son who does not dare take her side. Set in 1947 Houston, the unhappy family lives in a small apartment. Carrie dreams of returning to Bountiful, where she was raised. She eventually runs away and travels there by bus.
Upon her arrival, Carrie sees that Bountiful is now a ghost town of empty ruins and dilapidated shacks. It doesn't matter, though: she sees Bountiful just as it was when she left it, and for the first time in years she is truly happy and at peace with herself.