In this psychological drama, a woman tries to get on with her life after she is captured and tortured in a nameless South American country. It begins as US journalist Helen McNulty and her photographer/lover Jan travel to the country to find a rebel leader. Instead they are captured during a protest demonstration, separated, and tortured. She survives the ordeal and ends up back in Portland, Oregon, still grieving for Jan a year later. Though she has buried most of the terrifying experience and is determined to live a normal life, she finds herself forced to face the experience when she attends a symposium for survivors of political torture and decides to write a story on Anna Lenke, the keynote speaker and Holocaust survivor. Lenke runs a center for survivors and while there, Helen finds Anna treating her like a therapy patient, rather than a reporter. Conflict ensues. More conflict erupts when a mysterious, Latin professor, Tomas Ramirez arrives at the clinic.