In this allegorical novel, two people, from entirely different backgrounds and lifestyles, become so frustrated with the severity of the acute circumstances of their lives that they attempt to terminate their existence through suicide. Their failed efforts result in their being detoxified in the same E.R. and evaluated on the same psychiatry ward. Vera and Bryan explore the circumstances that led to their actions with two psychiatry residents and the attending physician,Dr. Saunders. The normally adroit and firm attending physician unexpectedly reveals the depth of his personality. By doing so, he leads not only the patients but also his residents on a journey of personal transformation from states of dysfunction to states of reverence and serenity.