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In the early '70s, husbands had jobs outside the home and wives had jobs at home. Sally and Ken Lansing and their baby Tiger live in a rural area, and Beth and Laurence Wellcroft in a wealthy subdivision with Beth's mother and her black caregiver, Verna. Adultery by Ken and an unplanned pregnancy upend Sally's life. Beth's miscarriages and inability to conceive and her mother's deteriorating health challenge Beth. A Thanksgiving surprise for Verna with son Jeff propels the two women to take a trip to the Sierra to visit Sally's friends. Laurence, meanwhile, travels to China on business and has an adventure. Living during the rural to suburban transition and the beginning of feminism bring Sally and Beth closer together. Sally phones Beth about Tiger and about her husband, Ken, having an affair. Beth phones Sally over infertility and her mother's Alzheimer's. These two women, different in age and background, forge a friendship of mutual solace. Their friendship shows how women's friendships are necessarily life-changing and life-affirming.