Ruth Ritchie elopes with a stereo salesman, thinking that she has found her ticket out of Summerville, Tennessee where her future means selling pies at Durwood's Hardware. But Chuck "gets religion," and Ruth, who cherishes her freedom more than safety, buys a used car and heads north.
When Ruth faints from hunger at a North Carolina five-and-dime, Rose, a feisty elderly reporter, rescues her. A friendship stronger than family ties blossoms; for all her bravado, unsentimental Ruth can never quite disguise her need for a mother's love. In Ruth, Rose finds someone who refuses to see old age as a handicap, and gives her life new purpose.
With spirited humor and empathy, Landis beautifully intertwines the unforgettable stories of Rose, in stubborn denial of lung cancer, and Ruth, who possesses the energy and conviction of Rose in her younger days.