Marina Standen, a celebrated pianist, comes to the small town of Otter Lake to live with her sister, Rochelle, to recover from a near-drowning after her car plunged through the ice of a frozen lake. The accident left her comatose for several months and now she suffers from amnesia and the haunting danger of suicide her doctors warned her about. She refuses to believe them.
Trent Vargason’s seven-year-old daughter, Sophie, is blind following an accident that killed her mother and baby brother, three years previously. The child’s selective mutism is the result of the trauma she endured.Trent moves to Otter Lake so that Sophie can be near her maternal grandparents.
On Christmas Day Marina accompanies her sister to church. She has to refuse the pastor’s invitation to play for the service but eventually sits at the organ. Music springs from under her fingers, although she doesn’t know what she is playing. Her memory is just a blank.
On hearing the music, Sophie speaks for the first time since the accident, but immediately lapses into silence again. Marina agrees to give the little girl piano lessons, partly in the hope of relearning her own music. Sophie forms a close bond with Rochelle’s dog Kimnik.
Life in a small northern Prairie town is filled with human drama. Marina struggles to recover her memory. Trent,who harbors overpowering guilt over his wife’s death, vowed to remain faithful to her memory but is captivated by Marina. When Marina suggests that Sophie has some vision, life is turned upside down. An unpleasant and traumatic incident unlocks Sophie’s self-inflicted punishment. She had believed she was responsible for her mother and brother’s deaths.
As Marina makes progress in recovering her musical memory, can she ignore Trent’s love for her?