Gillian (Gilly) Lannon, a private school junior, and her brother, a junior at Yale, find that the nervous breakdown of their mother (who had been an advertising account executive) requires great patience, strength and perseverance from each of them, as they attempt to supervise her recuperation in the Vermont countryside. The widely separated lives of these three in their earlier city existence had been interesting but hardly expressive of family consciousness. As the summer progresses and the two young people cope with the withdrawal and the occasional erratic behavior of their mother, they uncover a family feeling that in itself proves somewhat restorative. When Gilly falls from a horse and breaks her arm, Mrs. Lannon begins to assume some responsibility as she comes to feel needed. There is some romantic interest in the friendly association of a nearby family. Except for the absence of any financial strain, the treatment of mental illness and its effect on the family, friends and society is realistically presented.