College English professor Rachel Monroe realizes that life is about connections. Before her husband Tom's death from cancer, he made her promise that she would pursue all the goals and dreams she had left behind in her life. Knowing that even in death Tom is leading her, Rachel completes her first fiction manuscript, one of the goals she had never accomplished, and finds a second career as a writer. When a publicity tour takes her from her Kansas home to Australia, she has the opportunity to find her Australian high school pen pal, Jenny Phillips, who had quit writing near the end of their senior year. Rachel visits Coolum Beach, the oceanside town where Jenny lived most of the years the two girls corresponded. Rachel can sense a change, that Tom isn't guiding her as he once was. She struggles with a new manuscript and reconciling her hope that somehow she'll find Jenny. In the process, she meets Jamie Stephens and as Jamie's life becomes intertwined with Rachel's, she begins to understand that her connection to Jenny was not just about writing letters, but ultimately a guide for Rachel's life.