It is 1965 and nineteen-year-old Sheila Gallagher is grateful to have finally escaped her dysfunctional family and married her high school sweetheart. Unfortunately she has barely unpacked in their Minneapolis apartment when Jim reveals he has joined the navy. Now her plan to earn a music degree is foiled. Still, Sheila puts her dreams on the back burner, and follows Jim to California for his first assignment.
A few months after their arrival in Long Beach, Jim is deployed to Vietnam. As Sheila attempts to navigate in a strange city without her husband, she begins to question America's military actions. And when Jim finally returns, he shocks her once again with his decision to re-enlist, prompting their divorce. As Sheila's desire for a new beginning leads her to San Francisco, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery where she participates in anti-war demonstrations and searches for true love, meaningful friendships, and the courage to pursue her dreams. But in a time of great political and cultural change, Sheila is about to discover that a worthwhile goal can be difficult to achieve.
In this historical tale, a young woman sets out on a ten-year quest to overcome obstacles and create the future of her dreams during a tumultuous time in America.