John Wheeler, a year out of a failed marriage, has lost his grip as a journalist for the Spokesman Review. He accepts a position as editor of the Willow Creek Courier, owned by the wealthy and eccentric widow Ruth Hutchins. A few months after Wheeler has gotten settled into his new life in the quaint resort town of Willow Creek, Rose LaBelle arrives driving a red Trans Am with the personalized plate proclaiming "Dancer." She fled Coeur d'Alene to escape an intolerable situation involving a considerate boyfriend who could not truly accept her occupation as an "exotic performer" at a nightclub along the Washington-Idaho state line. Wheeler and Ms Labelle are drawn to each other as fellow refugees from an urban landscape.