Trying to escape her abusive boyfriend, widowed Jean, her daughter Griff in tow, takes refuge in the only place she feels she can hide in safety -- the Wyoming ranch of her estranged father-in-law, Einar. Einar, who did not know of his granddaughter's existence, does not welcome them, as he still blames Jean for the car accident that ended the life of his son (to whom Jean was married) twelve years earlier, but he allows them to stay for the month, enough time for Jean to earn enough money to move elsewhere. The strain between Jean and Einar increases as she quickly begins a sexual relationship with Sheriff Curtis, whom Griff dislikes solely because of that relationship. Einar's ranching partner Mitch, who is recovering from a bear mauling and who is now permanently disabled, is Einar's voice of reason in trying to convince him to establish a caring relationship with the only family he has left. Mitch's perspective is in part due to the attacking bear -- now captured and on display in town -- with which he has a special attachment.