On vacation in Greece, Judith Kahn, a forty-five year old foundation executive from San Francisco, forms a friendship with Tatiana Starova, a foundation grantee from St. Petersburg, Russia. Staying at a converted windmill on an Aegean island, the two women become friends through sharing their life stories.
Back in St. Petersburg, Tatiana discovers she is suffering from ovarian cancer. Judith puts together a group of women to help Tatiana -- Kay, Judith's dynamic boss; Gloria, an African-American family practitioner; and Carmen, a Hispanic oncologist. The women bring Tatiana to San Francisco and, with the help of a visiting Russian doctor, Stas Arnatov, shepherd her through treatment with an experimental drug.
As each member of the group interacts with Tatiana, she begins, through Tatiana's guidance, to cope with her own life dilemma -- an unsatisfying romance and career; or a past break with family; or a daughter's anorexia; or a lonely personal life. In trying to heal Tatiana, the group members themselves are healed.
Although Judith and Tatiana never return to Greece together, they return to the windmill in their hearts and find courage and peace as they face the end of Tatiana's life.