It is the fall of 1957. The Whitakers make their home in Hartford, Connecticut. Their daily existences are characterized by carefully-observed family etiquette, social events and an overall desire to keep up with the Joneses. Cathy Whitaker (Moore) is the homemaker, wife and mother. Frank (Quaid) is the breadwinner, husband and father. They have two pre-teen children, a boy and a girl. As the story unfolds, Cathy's pristine world is transformed. Her interactions with her gardener, Raymond Deagan (Haysbert; her best friend, Eleanor Fine (Clarkson); and her maid, Sybil (Davis), reflect the upheavals in her life. Cathy is faced with choices that spur gossip within the community and change several lives forever.