It's 2002, and South Dakota third grade teacher Ellen Jeffers has signed up for a photography summer course and assistantship at an art academy in Minneapolis. Thirty-three, divorced from her college boyfriend for nearly a decade, she's not seeking major change. She just hopes the course will enhance her teaching skills and her resume.
Aaron Brewster comes from privilege, and he has used that status to flaunt his family's values and carve out a successful career as a photographer specializing in black and white erotic portraiture. Has he ever loved? His love is for beauty, sensuality, eroticism. His new uptight teaching assistant will never fit that vision. Should he send her packing? For reasons he cannot fathom, he takes her on as a challenge.
Aaron's frontal assault shocks Ellen, but it also triggers something deep inside she's never been willing to acknowledge. Is her beloved prairie a safe refuge, or will it become a crucible for transformation? The choice is not merely Ellen's.